Joseph Grendys

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Joseph Grendys
Joseph C. Grendys

1961/1962 (age 56–57)[1]
Chicago, Illinois, US
ResidenceChicago, Illinois, US
EducationHoly Cross High School (River Grove, Illinois)
Alma materLoyola University BBA, 1984
OccupationChairman, CEO, president and owner, Koch Foods
Net worthUS$2.9 billion (February 2018)[1]

Joseph C. Grendys (born 1961/62) is an American billionaire poultry slaughterer, the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Koch Foods.

Early life[edit]

Grendys was born in Chicago in the early 1960s. His father was a butcher who was also involved in the wholesale and retail meat trade.[2] His grandparents emigrated to the US from Poland.[2]

He was educated at Holy Cross High School in River Grove, and worked at Koch Foods part-time while a student.[2] In 1984, he received a bachelor's degree in Finance and Marketing from Loyola University.[1][3]


Grendys started full-time at Koch Foods in the mid-1980s, when it had just 13 employees.[1] The owner Fred Koch was one of his father's customers, having started Koch Foods in 1973, and offered him a 50% equity share in the business.[2]

He bought out Fred Koch in 1992. Grendys' companies now slaughter, ship and sell chicken using the Koch Foods, Antioch Farms, Preferred Foods and Rogers Royal brands.[1] Koch slaughters over 12 million chickens and processes over 50,000,000 pounds (23,000 t) of chicken every week.[4]

In 2011, Koch employed 14,000 people, had an annual turnover of $2.8 billion, and was one of America's five largest "fully-integrated chicken processors."[5]

In a 2014 interview, Grendys stated that he planned to acquire more companies and that he might branch out into another protein, but that he was "not sure what that protein would be yet." Rather than running a chicken company, he sees it as "the business of converting corn and soybeans into meat protein."[4]

As of August 16, 2019, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$2.4 billion.[1]

His company Koch Foods has been dogged by accusations of racism and abusive working conditions.[6]. On August 7, 2019 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided several food processing plants in Mississippi, one of which was the Morton, MS plant of Koch Foods. Three buses were used to shuttle off workers alleged of being undocumented. [7]

Personal life[edit]

Grendys lives "relatively modestly in the Chicago bungalow where he grew up and drives a beat-up old Cadillac."[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Joseph Grendys". Forbes. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Joseph Grendys: Meat Processing Tycoon". entrepreneurinformer. June 24, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Executive Profile Joseph Grendys". bloomberg. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Harris, Melissa (October 24, 2014). "Inside billionaire Joe Grendys' chicken empire". chicagotribune. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  5. ^ Melby, Caleb (August 7, 2013). "New Chicken Billionaire Joseph Grendys Rules The Roost". Forbes. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  6. ^ Arnsdorf, Isaac. "How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One". / Pro Publica. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "How Koch Foods Built a $3 Billion Chicken Empire". fool. May 18, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2015.