It began with a father and son who left Riga, Latvia to escape religious persecution. After passing through Ellis Island, they boarded a train going west and got off when the land looked like Latvian farm country. They had discovered Omaha, Nebraska, their new home.
After settling in Omaha, J.J. and B.A. started working in the only business they knew - the meat business. They toiled in several markets around Omaha before founding their own company in 1917. B.A. bought a building in downtown. At the time, the space was a carpentry shop called Table Supply Company. He moved a cooler and a freezer into the building, and on the front sign, he nudged the "CO" of company to the right and inserted the word "Meat."