LIFE samsky old sign.jpg

The original Samsky Bros. sign hangs on the back wall of the remodeled Samsky’s Market.

Samsky’s Market in Manassas will stay open after the owner fought to keep a permit to sell fresh food.

“I don't believe this would have been possible without all the community support I received,” owner John Samsky said on Facebook. “Thank you!”

On Sept. 1, Samsky’s Market announced on Facebook that the store that sells 200 to 300 sandwiches daily was planning to close Oct. 1 because county staff told him he was not allowed to sell fresh food, because the property is zoned agriculture.

Samsky’s father opened the store in 1947. John Samsky ran the store from 1990 to 2003 and leased the property after that. After four months of renovations, Samsky reopened the market last November at 14705 Bristow Road in the mostly rural Independent Hill community near the Prince William County Public School’s Kelly Leadership Center. 

A nonconforming use permit issued in 1958 “didn’t specifically mention selling fresh, non-packaged food,” Samsky wrote, but he and community members remember buying fresh food there over the decades. 

“A grill has been operated since I was a kid or before,” he said. 

After county staff said he couldn’t sell fresh food at the market, Samsky said he decided to close because those items were the most profitable for the business. 

“I’d like to stay open, but I’m not going to be a store that sells [only] lollipops,” he said. “The grill is what brings people in.” 

After reaching out to Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe, Samsky was given the opportunity to prove that the store sold fresh food in the 70s. 

“How am I going to prove that?” he said. “I don’t have a photo of the store.” 

Finally, county employees said if Samsky could provide witnesses who saw fresh food sold at the store, he could keep the noncorforming use permit. 

Samsky thought he would only be able to use the property for agricultural uses, so he put up a sign that said “Coming Soon: Little Mister Stinky’s Hogg Farm.” 

Instead, Samsky’s Market will remain a staple for residents who want a sandwich to go or to eat on tables near the market’s garden.

(6) comments


“county staff told him he was not allowed to sell fresh food, because the property is zoned agriculture.”

This is what happens when you give a bunch of bureaucrats fur coats. They believe that they have as much or more power than King Kong.

Seven Elevens and a slew of slop shops line both sides of Route 234 from Manassas all the way down to Route 1 in Dumfries. Prince William County can not hand out enough permits and permission slips fast enough to the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong places.

But here is the saddest part of this story. It isn't over yet. Mr. Samsky and his Market are now a target. One way or another they will take him down. That is the way Prince William County has been doing business now for several decades. Check it out. Start by counting the stop lights!


The officials in this County are not very bright. I live in Woodbridge near Marumsco Plaza. Every day there is someone selling "fresh" food out of their car trunks. They set little tables up and sale what ever they have on paper plates Usually it is cut up melons, etc. I'm sure they don't have a permit. It's been going on for months.

If you have a store that sales sandwiches, etc and it's been doing it forever, why pick on them. Has anyone complained about getting sick? If so, then I could see where the County needs to step in. Little country stores sale all sorts of stuff to include food. And usually that food is pretty tasty. Leave them be!!

Go after the ones that sale "fresh" food from their car trucks in parking lots. It's not just Woodbridge, it's in a lot of the "parking lots" through out the county. Those are the ones you need to shut down!


Did you happen to notice the nationalities of the people selling food out of their car trunks? Are they strictly cash into their pockets operations? Are they same as the homeless panhandlers that stand at so many of the intersections throughout our county?

Prince William County officials know exactly what they're doing. Moreover the hired bureaucrats know that no one will hold them accountable. Any person or agency that tries to is instantly slapped with accusations of bigotry, racism, white supremacy or worse. If the heat gets too close all the official has to do is state that what they did was for the greater good of everyone, not just a few.

Hence this is how the transformation of Prince William County from a majority of native American citizens evolved into a minority majority of immigrants. The days when for the greater good welcomed and protected Mr. Samsky's father's family market on Bristow Road are gone forever. There is another than zoned agricultural possibility not mentioned yet. Samsky's Market is simply in somebody's way. Whoever that is wants it done away with. Crosby's Crab Company just down the street are probably acutely aware of this too.


I’m glad that Samsky’s prevailed.


I’ve been buying sandwiches from Samsky’s since at least 1976 when I got my drivers license. County inspectors need to get out of their offices more often. Everyone should support this longtime family owned business


Lived in Manassas from 1965-1990. Moved out to the Valley. Each day that passes less and less of the true Manassas exists. It’s really sad preservation and protecting traditions takes the back seat to rules and ordinances.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.