Sarah said the couple's previous restaurant had thrived in Canada for 25 years. When Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, the American corporate push in the area led to the establishment of big malls and the closure of smaller businesses.
"Many longtime well-established restaurants were forced to move somewhere else," Sarah said. "Also, taxes went sky-high in order to pay for the cost of hosting the Olympics."
In addition to having relatives in Houston, Sarah said many tourists from Texas visited the Vancouver eatery.
"Year after year these people would come back to our restaurant to visit us, and they loved the food," she said. "They told us that we should open up a restaurant in Houston, [and] that it would be a big hit, so we heeded that advice."
Greek Isles opened at its Spring location in July 2013. Sarah said the restaurant's recipes make it distinctive, coming from the Agrinio Village she hails from in central mainland Greece. Although the restaurant does sell gyros because of their popularity, Greek Isles does not specialize in fast food.
"We have upscale Greek cuisine, and we feel it's excellent because it's made from scratch," Sarah said. "For example, we make our own spanakopitas filo pastries, humus and our own tzatziki from scratch with fresh ingredients."
Local wine enthusiast Ben August said he regularly frequents Greek Isles. August spoke with Sarah about expanding the wine list and has since become a partner in the business.
"It's a good neighborhood restaurant," August said. "I think we will become known as the best place for handmade food and great wine in Spring."
Greek Isles chef Honoralio Aviles had no previous Greek restaurant experience prior to landing the job, but has learned quickly and brought 25 years of cooking experience to the restaurant.
"I see more people starting to realize that we are here, and the community's [numbers in the restaurant have] started to increase," Aviles said.
In addition to authentic Greek food and a varied wine selection, Greek Isles features belly dance shows at 7:30 p.m. Saturday nights. Sarah said she and her husband have been in the restaurant industry for more than 40 years, and the family atmosphere of their restaurants has remained consistent throughout the years.
"We're still eating the same food and listening to the same music and trying to have a little cheer with some good wine," she said.