Amend’s high quality meat has been a culinary treat for the city of Des Moines since founder Conrad Amend opened his first meat market four years after the Civil War. Amend was 11 years old when, alone, he left Germany to seek his fame and fortune in the New World. He arrived in New York on the 11th of September, 1860 where he remained for one year.
He then worked in an apothecary in Buffalo, NY and then a farm and a meat market near there. After working for six years, Amend left to seek his fortune farther west with $50 in his pocket and a change of clothes.
Conrad opened his first shop in Des Moines in 1869. It was located at Second and Vine streets, but his main base of operations ended up being a three-story building that he built at Third and Walnut. Cattle were harvested behind the downtown building, sausage was made on the second floor and poultry was processed on the third floor. For over 50 years that building housed the Amend operation.
Conrad had a very large family with two daughters and nine sons. In 1908, the Amend sons joined the business, and with the help of William, John, George, Edward, Gus, Herman, Albert, Arthur and Ralph, C. Amend & Sons was born. The third generation of Amend men, Ralph Jr. and Richard carried on the meat processing business operating a packing plant, while Edward Jr. ran a retail store in Beaverdale.
The packing plant, known as Amend Packing Company moved to their current headquarters on S.E. 18th Street in 1928. Kent and Amy (fourth generation) continue the family operation.