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Iowa History Daily: January 1 - Taylor's Maid-Rite of Marshalltown

Iowa History Daily: On January 1, 1928, Taylor’s Maid-Rite opened in Marshalltown. Although not the original location, an honor held by Muscatine, Taylor’s Maid-Rite stands as one of the most iconic and longest-running locations of the popular Iowa sandwich shop. 

The first Maid-Rite sandwich shop, opened in Muscatine by local Butcher Fred Angell, combined a special cut and grind of meat with a secret set of spices to create the famous Iowa sandwich. When he tested it out on a local delivery man who quipped, “Fred, you know this sandwich is made right,” an American icon was born.

With the success of the first Maid-Rite, franchises soon followed. After paying a fee of $300, Cliff Taylor brought Maid-Rite to Marshalltown. Sourcing pickles from the Marshall Vinegar Works and buns from the Marshalltown Strand’s Bakery, Taylor’s business soon took off. The Taylor’s also added their own homemade pies to the menu which featured hamburger ground fresh daily. When Cliff passed away in 1944, the next generation took over as Don and Polly Taylor assumed responsibility for the popular local restaurant. 

In 1958, a new ‘state of the art’ building saw Taylor’s Maid-Rite make a move across the street from the original stand. The business continued to prosper in the new location, and the business eventually passed to Don and Polly’s grandson Don Short in 1985. Eventually, Don and Polly’s daughter, Sandra Taylor Short, took over operations to continue the successful, family-run business.

Overtime, the franchise at large started to struggle, and by 2002 only 83 Maid-Rite stores remained. Although ownership dynamics changed again in the early 2000s and big plans for expansion including a partnership with Hy-Vee. 21 Maid-Rite locations, including Taylor’s Maid-Rite, still operate throughout the state of Iowa, as well as eleven additional stores in other states. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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