801 Elm Street

801 Elm Street

Isadore & Reba Litwin appear in the 1930 Census in Philadelphia PA, then residing at 2510 South 9th Street with their three children. Edward, Philip, and Sylvia. Isadore Litwin had emigrated from Russia prior to World War I. By the time the census was taken he already owned his own grocery store. By 1941 the Litwin family had relocated to North Camden, and Isadore Litwin had opened a grocery at 547 North 8th Street.. Philip Litwin was driving a truck for the family business in 1941. He enlisted in the Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor, reporting for duty on January 4, 1942. After the war, the two Litwin sons married and lived nearby in North Camden. The 1947 Camden City Directory reveals that Edward Litwin had established a wholesale produce business, and that Philip Litiwn was living in the 700 Block of Cedar Street, a short walk from the store. 

By 1959 the Litwins had moved their homes from North Camden, and the business to the opposite corner, 801 Elm Street. Isadore Litwin then lived in Parkside on Belleview Avenue, Phil Litwin moved to 3000 Stevens Street in East Camden, and Ed Litwin had moved to Pennsauken. It appears that at this time the brothers had both returned to their father's business. Times became hard in North Camden, and by the middle 1970s there were only two groceries of any size in North Camden, the Chek-In Market at 548 State Street, and the Litwin Brothers. When the Chek-In closed its doors in the early 1980s, only Litwin's remained. 

The Litwin Brothers provided a check cashing service at their store, as the residents of North Camden had no bank branch to serve them. This practice was stopped in the wake of a July 1, 1974 robbery attempt which left one person dead and seven wounded, Phil Litwin and one of the robbers being among the wounded. 

In 2004 the Litwin Market still is in business at 8th and Elm Street, and the Litwin Brothers Check Cashing business also serves North Camden, providing a service not available in that neighborhood, as no commercial bank has done business in North Camden in over 50 years.     

Philip Litwin - 1941

STORE PHOTOS - 1970-1971

Phil Litwin
Ed Litwin
Robert Pratt
Phil Litwin
Robert Pratt
Dave Litwin
Earl Crim
Earl Crim

Click on Images to Enlarge
Photos courtesy of Earl Crim

".......late 1970 or early 71 I remember that Ed Litwin made a deal at Cherry Hill Dodge on three 1970 Dodge Swingers.... I got one, Dave Litwin got one, and Eddie bought one for his daughter Eileen." - Earl Crim, 2004

My fondest memory of the Litwin store was of Easter time. Isadore would sell baby chicks. We raised them to small chickens and 
then gave them away.

Mike Larson
May 2012


Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1975

outside the Litwin Brothers Inc. store at Elm Street, Camden, after six persons were shot during an armed holdup attempt by three suspects. One is in jail.





Camden Courier-Post - July 2, 2007

Fugitive gets 20 years for 1997 slaying

Courier-Post Staff

A Vietnamese immigrant who was a fugitive for nine years was sentenced Friday to 20 years in state prison for killing another Vietnamese man who had attempted to act as a peacemaker.

Hieu Thach, 29, was arrested in August in Florida in connection with the murder of Nhut Thach, 47, who was not a relative.

Nhut Thach had worked as a butcher at the Littman Grocery Store in North Camden and was a respected presence in Camden's Vietnamese community. He and his family had provided support for other new immigrants after they arrived in South Jersey in 1987.

An investigation showed the defendant had warned the victim's son that he was coming to their house in the 3400 block of Westfield Avenue in East Camden on the night of March 24, 1997, to resolve an ongoing dispute.

He believed Thach's son Hung Thach had made telephone threats. The two men had quarreled previously at a bowling alley in Pennsauken, according to investigative reports of the killing.

Nhut Thach went out to the street to attempt to resolve differences between the two young men but Hieu Thach pulled a handgun and began to fire.

One bullet hit Nhut Thach in the head, killing him. A second shot wounded the intended victim, then 19, who was pushing his younger brother into the house for safety.

John Thach, now 20 and a student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, told Superior Court Judge Samuel Natal he "was 10 when my father was taken away. Watching his body lying there I felt that all my dreams were shattered."

"My brother tried his best to guide me, but sometimes I just felt like I was lost," John Thach said.

His sister, Trang Thach, 32, described her father as "the best dad in the world. He worked seven days a week for his family. He never spent even $100 on himself."

She said her father pushed his children to do well in school, "but we were lost. We didn't know what we were doing."

Referring to Hieu Thach, she said, "he doesn't treasure human life."

A second man charged in connection with the fatal shooting, Sica Lam, was convicted of reckless manslaughter for driving the killer to the Thach home. He was paroled in 2001.