Germack Pistachio Company at St. Aubin and East Grand Blvd

Today, men and women file into the GM Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center. You know where it's at: just east of the I-75 and I-94 interchange. But did you also know that before it was built, that area was the home of the Germack Pistachio Company?

That's right. The company that is credited to adding the famous red coloring to pistachios first started producing the nuts at St. Aubin and East Grand Blvd.

The company was started by the Germack brothers - Elias, John, and Frank - in the 1920s. They emigrated from Syria to New York in the early 1920s and worked together as grocers. In 1924, John and Frank moved to Detroit and opened another operation where they specialized in Turkish pistachios and other Middle Eastern foods. In 1935 the firm took the name Germack Brothers, and moved to a building on Russell Street.

In 1976, Strohs Brewery bought the location in Eastern Market and Germack moved to St. Aubin and E. Milwaukee, where the above photo was snapped. They didn't last long in this location: in 1981, the city of Detroit acquired the building and tore it, along with hundreds of others, down, to create the assembly center.

Germack Pistachio Co. is credited with being the first to add the famous red coloring to pistachios. With its retail location once again housed in historic Eastern Market, the Germack family continues to prepare nuts the "old school" way - in small batches and according to the roasting methods perfected decades ago by Frank, Sr.

This week's Throwback Thursday is courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society. Click here for more.


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