Zingerman’s Company of Businesses began humbly in 1982 as a small delicatessen in a historic building that was once a neighborhood grocery store. It may sound like your typical, charming mom and pop success, but though it is charming and successful, it is definitely not typical.
Deli founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig chose to avoid the franchise model which could have replicated their deli in locations across the country. Instead, they expanded their expertise, their team and their company into new, independent businesses. Today, there are more than ten altogether — covering every type of food as well as events and services — and they’re all rooted in our local community, working together as one organization.
Back in 2003, Inc. Magazine named Zingerman’s The Coolest Small Company in America and all they’ve done since then is continue to grow, continue to impress and continue to be a lovable part of Ann Arbor. Join us as we explore each part of the machine and the history to learn all we can about Zingerman’s. Enjoy!
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Delicatessen and Katie Honoway
The first business that opened in the Zingerman’s Company was this historical deli opened in 1982 with a staff of two, a small selection of specialty foods, a variety of traditional Jewish dishes and a short, simple sandwich menu. Today, the deli is still located in the small, red brick building across from the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, but you can now get corned beef, pastrami, turkey, chicken, pork, fish and vegetarian sandwiches, as well as breakfasts, salads, housemade Jewish specialty foods, handmade pot pies and more.
If that’s still not enough, you can go right next door to Next Door Dessert & Coffee House for cakes, pies, cupcakes, gelato, cookies, brownies, chocolates, candies and so much more! They opened this charming shop in 1991 to offer more space and more treats both from Zingerman’s businesses and from around the country.
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Bakehouse
By 1992, Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig had been running the shop for ten years and wanted to improve the flavors by baking their own breads. So in September of that year, they teamed up with Frank Carollo and just five other staff members to open the beloved Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Today, 130 staff members and partners make pastries, breads and other treats from scratch daily.
Through BAKE!, their hands-on teaching bakery which opened in 2006, you can learn how it’s all done! Classes are open to the public in categories like pizza making, donut frying, cake baking and more. Check out the schedule and reserve your spot online.
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Creamery and Emma Boonstra
The creamery’s story started in 2001 with the now famous Real Cream Cheese and continued into a full range of cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses, gelato and sorbets. Today, each cheese and gelato starts with the best local milk from small-scale, regional farmers. Then, they’re crafted with old-world techniques and plenty of time to preserve the flavors and characteristics of each cheese and each ingredient.
At The Cheese Shop on the South Side of Ann Arbor, you can buy all of it, grab a fresh scoop of gelato, and shop other national and international cheeses, beers and wines. On-site at the Creamery, you can enjoy tours and guided tastings that include pairings with local beer, chocolates, fermented foods and more. See all the upcoming options online on the event page.
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Roadhouse
The Roadhouse is the seventh business that opened in the Zingerman’s company. At this all-day restaurant, the team showcases their favorite things about American food — both locally and nationally. The menu includes grits inspired by South Carolina, Maryland-inspired crab cakes, Carolina barbeque, local meat from Washtenaw County, produce from local farms, artisan cheeses, micro-brewed beers, and fine wines from all over the US.
Stop by for breakfast during the week, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, lunch, dinner, dessert and happy hour. You can also swing by Zingerman’s Roadshow, the to-go destination for the Roadhouse, operating out of a vintage Spartan trailer attached to the front of the restaurant. There, you can get Bakehouse pastries and bagels, morning coffee, restaurant favorites to-go and more.
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Coffee Company
The Zingerman’s motto is “you really can taste the difference” so at Zingerman’s Coffee Co. they take every step seriously — from the initial growth phase through the roasting process and into your cup at Zingerman’s Coffee Bar. The shop is located alongside Zingerman’s Creamery, Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Zingerman’s Candy Factory so you can get all the best in one convenient spot. And, as a wholesale roaster, they also supply cafes, restaurants and businesses all over the region!
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When Charlie Frank arrived at the Bakehouse in 2001, he already had dreams to open a Zingerman’s business of his own. After making candy bars in the bakery kitchen for a few years, the Candy Manufactory opened in 2009 with Charlie as the founder and managing partner. Now, the team has more room to craft mouth-watering and craveable candies like the original Zzang!, the Peanut Butter Crush Zzang!, Ca$hew Cow, What the Fudge? and Wowza which is chocolate coated raspberry ganache with raspberry nougat and raspberry jellied candies. Yum!
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Photo courtesy of Miss Kim
Though the name is different than the others (it was chosen as a way to showcase Korean tradition and honor the restaurant’s female chef-owner), the service and quality at this downtown Ann Arbor restaurant is everything you’d expect from Zingerman’s. At Miss Kim, the authentic Korean dishes are driven by and adapted to showcase Michigan’s bountiful produce. Shareable small plates include Fresh Oysters and Pork Belly Bossam alongside medium and large entrée selections like Fried Calamari and Whole Lamb Shank.
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Cornman Farms and Chelsea Brown Photography
Located on 42 acres in Dexter, Zingerman’s Cornman Farms is surrounded in all directions by flowers, vegetation and jaw-dropping landscape. As both a working farm and an elegant event venue, the space features an exhibition kitchen for events and culinary classes, a chef’s garden, a classic farmhouse, a four-season barn and a stunning tent pavilion. Led by Executive Chef and Owner Kieron Hales, the foods and the hospitality services are born from his experience in Michelin star kitchens and time spent living and cooking in 27 different countries. If you haven’t fallen in love yet, check out the photo gallery online.
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Zingerman’s catering services brings all the fun, flavor and local fare to your home or event. Complete with event planning services, they can help find the perfect venue, choose impressive florals, organize the entertainment, and coordinate all the rentals.
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Photo courtesy of Greyline and Sean Carter Photography
Greyline is Zingerman’s newest event space located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. With a capacity of 200 guests, an exterior lit up by the neon hues of the historic Ann Arbor bus depot sign, and an interior that highlights the building’s Art Deco history, it’s a premier spot for weddings, trainings and any other event on your calendar. The venue is operated exclusively by Zingerman’s Catering and Events so you know the food and service will be impeccable! Check out the photo gallery to see more.
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ZingTrain takes all the Zingerman’s knowledge and experience built up over the years and presents it in training classes so forward-thinking organizations all over the world can also succeed. Managing partner Maggie Bayless and her team teach training, service, merchandising, specialty foods, open book finance and staff management to individuals and teams. Learn more about the educational products, trainings, seminars and workshops on the website!
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Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Mail Order
Once referred to as “the most discriminating mail order selection of foods that I am aware of” by Ed Behr of The International Wine Cellar, Zingerman’s Mail Order offers all the greatness of Zing foods as well as curated, global selections of meats and fish, handmade cheeses, artisan spices, estate-bottled olive oils and customized presents for holidays, weddings, birthdays and more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
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Through destination food tours, the Zingerman’s team gets to share their favorite things about food with you! This local tour agency organizes international tours as well as Great American Food Tours that transport you (literally) to some of the most interesting foodie destinations on the globe. Tours include places as close as Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan and as far as Sicily, Italy! Learn more about upcoming tours and snag your spot on the website.
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In a city of books and bookstores, it makes sense for a local icon like Zingerman’s to have their own press. This publishing company produces books all about food, business and the Zingerman’s experience so you can get an inside look at the goings on and learn more about what you’re eating. You can learn more about their specific publications on the website and find their publications in local, indie stores around Ann Arbor or around the country.