Isadore M. Hattem & Hattem's Markets
From Constantinople to LA's Grand Central Market
A dynamic man, Isadore M. Hattem was born in 1894 to a Sephardic Jewish family in Constantinople, Turkey. Isadore left his parents, five brothers and a sister at age 17 to travel first to Paris, France, where he worked in a linen shop, and then to Recife, Brazil.
Known as IM, he arrived in Los Angeles in 1914. Hattem had contracted a rare fever in South America and came north to recover his health. Adding English to his repertoire of languages that included Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Hebrew and French, Isadore worked for a small fruit stand in front of the Burbank Theatre at Fifth and Main Streets. After a year of saving, he purchased a stand of his own. In 1917, he procured 2 stalls at the newly opened Grand Central Market and added two more stalls in later years. By the mid-1920's, IM Hattem was well known for his knowledge of the retail produce trade.