Frank Lucente opened Sam’s Hot Dog Stand along with his friend Rocco Muriale (of Rocco’s Ristorante) in Huntington, West Virginia in 1983. Growing up in West Virginia, Lucente had become fond of the spicy chili dogs at a local hot dog stand. After it closed, Lucente asked the former owner for the hot dog sauce recipe but was denied. He then turned to an elderly woman who had supplied the original recipe. Lucente and Muriale spent six months perfecting the sauce before they opened their stand. Today, Sam’s Hot Dogs has about forty franchises throughout West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia.