As Ah Sam Floral Co. in San Mateo
celebrates its 90th birthday, Sharon Chin of CBS News Bay Area
sat down with owners and “spunky matriarch” Mayme Leong and her son Steve Leong.
The story of Ah Sam
began in 1933, at the height of the Depression, when Mayme’s brother-in-law, Gordon Leong, and his father, Sam Shun Leong, founded the iconic flower shop. Gordon named the budding business Ah Sam in honor of his father. In Cantonese, Ah means “Sir.” However, establishing a business as an Asian American didn’t come without hurdles and setbacks.
Over the years, Mayme and her family have persevered in more ways than one. Three generations later, Ah Sam is owned and operated by Mayme’s four adult children. Mayme pours her heart and creativity into the blossoming family business, playing a vital role in its longevity. She credits innovative designs, fresh flowers, and generations of loyal customers, including Shirley Temple, Oprah, and Stephen Curry, for Ah Sam Floral Co.’s flourishing success.
Watch the full clip below to learn more about the history, heart, and soul behind Ah Sam Floral Co.