Cliff Taylor bought the “Maid Rite” franchise in 1928 for the whopping sum of $300. Along with his family, Cliff operated Taylor’s Maid-Rite, baking home-made pies, slicing pickles from a Marshalltown pickler and buying fresh buns from a local bakery. When Cliff died in 1944, his son Don and his wife, Polly, took over to keep it in the family.
Every time I go back home to visit, we take a trip to the Maid-Rite. It is always a matter for discussion between the out of town siblings, when we are going, how we are getting there (car pool? separate cars? meet up after a trip to the mall?), how many Maid-Rites are we are going to eat and whether it will be a malt or a shake this time.
A requirement for any man brave enough to date one of we three Kopsa sisters was a pilgrimage to Taylor’s upon the first visit to meet my parents. These unknowing men from places like Chicago, New York or say, Edinburgh, Scotland, had no idea why the women they were dating went wild at the mere mention of Maid-Rites. Until they had one, of course.
When I asked my daughter what food she wanted at her high school graduation party this is the list she came back with: a chocolate fountain, Skittles and Maid-Rites. I thought that was a brilliant idea. The crowd went wild (for the Maid-Rites, I don’t have any data on their reaction to the fountain or Skittles).
We take these sandwiches very, very seriously.
“When I was a kid, my mom took us to the Maid Rite in Ames just off of Main St. I remember it was set up just like Taylor’s with the red swivel seats and the horseshoe counter. We used to go Saturday mornings and watch Saturday morning cartoons.”
Senator Sodders went on to say, “I’m just trying to keep a piece of Americana intact. I am proud to word for the people in my district.”
Whatever Steve is doing, it is catching on. The “Save Taylor’s Maid-Rite” Facebook page has over 8,000 members.
Help me save Taylor’s Maid-Rite for small town and big city landmarks everywhere. Iowans, pass the word around. Everyone else, visit the Facebook page. Or better yet, order up some delicious Maid-Rites for yourself – they ship everywhere. See what it is we are talking about, oozing about, and trying to save. Share the joy, spread the word.