In 1960, Marshall
Loewenstein looks on as
his father, Max, nephew
of the company's
founder, Louis, holds
his son, Mark.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 1990
The business was retail. Everything
was fresh, and merchants came to the
market regularly to get their food sup-
plies. Even in the Depression, the busi-
ness remained afloat.
"People had to eat," Marshall Loewens-
tein says. "When the food business goes
bad, we know the whole economy has
gone to hell. The last thing people give up
Marshall's father, Max, worked with
his father, Simon, in the meat vending
business. When it became difficult to
work with his brother, Alfred Max left
the company in the 1930s and joined his
uncle, Louis Loewenstein. In 1939, Max
purchased the poultry company from his
"He said he wanted a place for his son to
work," Marshall recalls.
Until 1954, the business remained a
retail store. Then, with the input of Mar-
shall, who had just finished college and
joined the company, the poultry business
changed focus from retail to wholesale.
The future was in supermarkets, Mar-
shall thought, and people would no longer
frequent the stands.
They began selling to restaurants and
food service places looking for chicken
suppliers. The business became lucrative.
In 1971, after Max retired, Marshall sold
the food service enterprise to concentrate
on holiday business, becoming a food
Last year, the company sold 300,000
gift box turkeys to companies that give
gifts to employees for Thanksgiving and
In 1987, the business expanded with the
purchase of Michigan Cold Storage,
which stores frozen and refrigerated foods
Today the business is run throughout
the Midwest by Marshall; his wife,
Phyllis; and his daughter, Judy Loewens-
His three sons didn't remain in town
with the family business, but ventured
into related food and poultry enterprises.
"Today, in this day and age, family
businesses are not as prevalent," Mar-
shall says. "It takes a special kind of
situation to have a family business stay
together. We've been able to feed a lot of
families for 92 years."
Tradesman Zelig Knoppow
Opts For The Paint Business
Herman Knoppow came to Detroit
from Russia in 1868, and he landed a job
working as a printer. So when his nephew,
Zelig Knoppow, chose to leave his
homeland for the United States after the
turn of the century, he followed Uncle
Zelig, however, a glazier who puttied
and repaired windows in Europe, wasn't
interested in the printing business. In-
stead, in 1908, he opened a paint store.
In 1911, Zelig's younger brother,
Simon, immigrated to the United States
and went to work for his brother. When
Simon left Russia, plans were set for the
rest of the family to follow, but they
couldn't secure visas from the Russian
Simon would not have contact with his
family for 10 years until they placed an
advertisement in a Hebrew Aid Immigra-
tion Society newsletter. They wouldn't
arrive in Detroit for 11 years.
His son, Isaac, would celebrate his bar
mitzvah along the way during a stop in