Des Moines Meat Market & Deli
B & B Grocery, Meat & Deli, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is a neighborhood grocery store with an outstanding deli and old-fashioned meat market. It has been family owned and operated since Archie and John Brooks opened it in May 1922.
Since then five generations of the Brooks family have been dedicated to serving the best variety of quality meats and the freshest deli items to the Des Moines Community.
Keeping Iowans on Top of the Food Chain since 1922!
First Generation at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
Two brothers had a dream after a fire at Gilligan’s store which was located in at Indianola Road and Hillside. Helping their father rebuild the store, John R Brooks, age 17 and J. Archie Brooks, age 16, decided they wanted to go into the grocery business.
Their dream was realized when Gilligan leased them the building on May 15, 1922. They bought their inventory to open up with by cashing in war bonds they had bought with money they made selling candy on the train to Camp Dodge during World War I. They opened on May 20, 1922. Archie quit school and worked while John worked and finished his senior your at East High.
In 1925, they opened another store at SE 6th and Hartford which John ran while Archie stayed at the Hillside store. In 1936, they built a new building next to the SE 6th and Hartford store and merged together into a new store. At this time, the name was changed to the present name, B&B Grocery. John and Archie stayed in that location throughout the 40’s and 50’s.
J. Archie Brooks passed away in December of 1957. John R. Brooks continued running B&B with Gwen Brooks and with the help of Archie’s two son’s John A. Brooks and J. Archie Brooks, jr.
In 1962, B&B Grocery purchased the building of former DeYoung’s Grocery. They remodeled the store
and enlarged the building so that they could bring their community of the Des Moines Southside one of the finest markets with the best quality meats and the best value in grocery available. This location continues to be the current location of B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli.
John R. retired in 1965, at which time B&B continued to be operated by Gwen (J. Archie Brooks’ widow) and her new husband Dale Rummans. They continued to serve the Des Moines area community until they moved to Rio Rico, Arizona in 1971.
Second Generation at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
John A. Brooks started working at B&B when he was 10 years old. His father paid him a small wage to help out at the store. By the time he was 14, John A. was ordering and buying inventory for the store. After his father (J. Archie Brooks) died in 1957, John A and his uncle (John R.) ran the store with his mother Gwen.
J. Archie Brooks, jr started working at B&B when he was in school. He served in the Marines during Vietnam and returned to work in the family store in 1967. John A. and J. Archie jr. ran the store just like their father and their uncle did when B&B Grocery was opened in 1922.
John A. Brooks bought B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli in 1977 with his wife Becky. They continued to run the family business with the help of their seven children. All of whom had worked at B&B at some point, but only John A. jr and Joe decided to make the family business their career.
It was under John’s leadership that the family grocery store added a new dimension to their business. In the early 1980’s workers were coming in the store and drooling over the sandwiches that John and his kids were making for themselves.
Soon, B&B was offering deli sandwiches to their customers. One day Joe Dewey, a railroad worker, walked into B&B and exclaimed he wanted a “Killer Sandwich”. Since then, the deli sandwiches at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli have been known as “Killer” sandwiches. It was John A. Brooks that created the Dad’s Killer Sandwich, voted Des Moines Best Deli Sandwich by the readers of the Des Moines Register in 2008 and by the readers of Juice Magazine in 2012.
Third Generation at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
Brothers John jr and Joe continue to operate the store like their Grandfather and Great Uncle did 90 years ago.
John and Joe created popular sandwiches such as Zach’s Italian Killer, the Quadzilla Cheesburger, and the KILLOSSAL a combination of our Dad’s Killer, Zach’s Italian Killer, the Quadzilla Cheeseburger, and our Killer Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich . In 2011, they introduced the world to the KILLOSSAL on the Food Network’s Outrageous Foods.
Fourth Generation at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
Jennifer (Joe’s daughter), Zach, and Mack (John’s sons), Allison (their neice) all 4th Generation Brooks, help their fathers behind the meat and deli counter.
Fifth Generation at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
You can even catch a 5th generation Brooks making frequent appearances at B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli.