• Graziano Brothers was founded by Francesco and Luigi Graziano.

    As young boys in a small Italian village, Francesco and Luigi Graziano, never knew the future impact they would have on their families and the community.

    Born in the Calabrian town of San Morello, the two brothers began their lives in loving, but impoverished circumstances, typical of many Italian families in the 1880’s.

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  • In 1903, Francesco (Frank) and Luigi (Louie) did what many Italians longed to do: they immigrated to America in search of a better life. Frank, 21, and Louie, 17, found their way to Des Moines, Iowa while working for the Great Western Railway. The brothers decided to start a grocery business. Frank remained at the railway to support the two, while Louie got the business well on its way.

    The store on South Union Street opened in 1912. The surrounding area eventually became known as Little Italy.

  • Frank and Louie were an exceptional team and complemented each other beautifully. No one can recall overhearing an argument between them, but everyone could attest to how much they loved each other. They were good people who fed many of the “paesani” during the Great Depression. The brothers never had an unkind word for those who, for whatever reason, failed to pay. They were honest, hard-working men, respected by everyone who knew them.

    The Graziano brothers became well-known for their sausage, and it is still sold at the original storefront on South Union Street. Over the years, they added many other products that reminded them of home. Our long history is just one of the many reasons that Graziano Brothers Inc. is recognized and loved throughout our community and the region.

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