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October 19, 1990 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

nual sales last year. Sales reached $25
million.
"Being a family business," says Jordan
Salasnek, in line for the president's job
when his father retires, "you pay par-
ticular attention to the quality. My name
is at stake.
"They built a foundation on integrity
that I want to carry on."

Above:
From left to right,
Robert, Lawrence,
James, Leonard,
Morton, Pauline and
Nathan Hack hold a
shoestring for Hack
Shoe's 50th anniversary.

1898

Louis Loewenstein Opens
Poultry Stand At Gratiot
Central Market

Inside a massive warehouse in Taylor
is an 80,000-square-foot freezer filled with
rows and rows of holiday gift turkeys and
hams.
Also on the premises are countless
Chef's Pride brand barbeque chickens.
It is autumn, but Loewenstein Poultry
and Game President Marshall Loewens-
tein is wearing a down coat. He is walk-
ing through a 28 degree freezer, where
icicles and a bit of snow greet him at the
entrance.
"This business isn't very romantic,"
says Marshall Loewenstein, great-
nephew of the company founder, Louis
Loewenstein.
The company has gone through
tremendous change since Louis Loewens-
tein, a German immigrant, founded what
was basically a retail chicken and turkey
stand at the Gratiot Central Market in
1898.
At the time, there were no
supermarkets and specialty
shops. Retail markets were
filled with individual ven-
dors, some selling pro-
duce, others fish, others
poultry.

Photo by Glenn Triest

using trucks for transportation. And in
1921, the company gave up the retail
store, becoming exclusive wholesalers
called Salasnek Fisheries.
Today the business is run by Sam's
grandson, Lowell Salasnek, and his great-
grandsons Jordan Salasnek, Lowell's son;
and Arthur Tillman and Mike Pickens,
Lowell's sons-in-law.
Since World War II, the business has
experienced vast growth, now located in a
massive plant on St. Antoine in Detroit.
Plans are under way to build a facility
double the size in the same location to
prepare for more growth.
The company last year sold seven mill-
ion pounds of fish.
Sam retired in 1922, leaving the busi-
ness to his four sons, Arthur, Harold,
Charles and Max, Lowell's father. Each
was an equal partner with individual
responsibilities. The second generation
added seafood to the line and expanded to
include salt-water varieties as well as
shellfish.
"There was never any envy," Lowell
Salasnek recalls. "Everyone was equal.
There was no family bickering. They
stuck together, worked together and en-
joyed the fruits of their labor together."
Times were tough during the Depres-
sion, but fish — somewhat cheaper than
meat — seemed to sell. Arthur Salasnek,
who retired five years ago, recalls that
Sam and Krendel taught their children to
help others; no one walked away from
them hungry during the lean years.
There were some scares in the 1960s,
when the industry was faced with threats
of mercury poisoning. And there was
some concern when the Pope 15 years ago
told Catholics they no longer needed to
eat fish on Fridays.
The evolution of fish as a healthy pro-
duct has been nothing but good news for
Salasnek Fisheries, which tripled its an-

From Hack's, a woman's 1917 boot and a man's early model.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 29

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