DES MOINES, Iowa – The small blue building might not catch your eye as you drive by, but B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli has a habit of turning first-timers into regulars.

The lunch hour at B&B provides no break for brothers John and Joe Brooks. The third-generation owners grew up in the building at 2001 Southeast 6th Street. Their grandfather and great uncle started the business back in 1922.

“Our niche to B&B was we got to make our own lunch,” John A. Brooks, Jr. said. “Now we don’t make lunch for us, we make lunch for everybody else.”

Expect a certain style when you go in to order. Customers come for the specialty subs and meats. They come back for the unique brand of hospitality. 

“We’re kind of a hole in the wall, but we’re a good hole in the wall,” Joe Brooks said. “We’re polished on our stuff and we do take care of people and they get a quality product. We’ve been serving up Des Moines for a hundred years, keeping them on top of the food chain.”

Throughout a century, B&B has survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and a pandemic.

As they look ahead to the next one hundred years, John and Joe have kids and grandkids who could eventually take over the family business. They have no plans of taking a lunch break anytime soon.

“People still have to eat,” John A. Brooks, Jr. said. “And if you wanna work and you like what you do, that’s what B&B is for me.”

Family, friends, and former employees will be on-hand at B&B on Friday to help celebrate the 100-year anniversary.