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January 10, 2010

Family Stories

The Gertmenian Family's roots in the town of Hadjin in what is now Turkey are shared by many Pasadena's early Armenian settlers. Their story is one of cataclysmic relocation and reunion, with families of two brothers leaving the homeland for America two decades apart, and eventually being reunited in Pasadena in the 1920s. Gostantin (G.A.) Gertmenian was the first brother to arrive in America in 1896. From an early start, as a peddler to establishing a successful capret business, G.A.'s relocation of business and family from the east coast to Pasadena in 1918 enabled his brother's family to get a foothold here.

G.A.'s brother Mardiros fled Turkey with his extended family during the Armenian genocide of 1915, eventually settling in Pasadena in 1923. The G.A. Gertmenian family established rug businesss in Los Angeles, San Francisco and on the east coast.

The other branch of the family found success in retail and wholesale groceries and eventually developed a new kind of produce business, when Dennis Gertmenian established teh Ready-Pak with pre-packaged salad greens.

The Gertmenian Family circa 1923



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