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From Grand Central Market to Supermarket

The Los Angeles Jewish Grocer

Cate Roman, Author

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The Los Angeles Jewish Grocer | Four Family Stories

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Since 1850, Jewish merchants have been a fixture in Los Angeles. In 1865, Prussian Jewish immigrant Harris Newmark started what became the largest wholesale grocery firm in Southern California. By the 1880s, his chief rival, Hellman, Haas & Co., opened a two-story wholesale grocery on Los Angeles Street near the Plaza. These pioneer firms remained active as a new generation of Jewish entrepreneurs arrived.

When the Grand Central Market opened in 1917, on the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building located at 315 South Broadway, many of the stalls were operated by Jewish merchants.

As Los Angeles grew into the modern metropolis, Jewish grocers were on the forefront of grocery store innovation and quick to adapt to changing business styles. In the 1920’s, grocery shopping shifted from clerk served to self serve and then later to the supermarket model. Jewish grocers were both central and marginal in these important economic developments.

Follow four family stories beginning in the early 1900’s to discover the Jewish contribution to the way Los Angeles shops for groceries.

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