Ari's Top 5

When you look at a piece of art you are seeing the reality of the person who made it.
—Bridget Watson Payne

Love cookies? Interested in learning more about baking? BAKE! is running a special summer version of our most popular holiday class, Fancy Schmancy Cookies, on Thursday, July 18. This one sells out quickly, so book now to get a spot! 

Ari, Emma, and the Pamphlet

“Going into Business with Emma Goldman; 18 Anarchist Lessons for Business and Life” 

Business and anarchism come together to create a philosophical framework for the 21st century in a new pamphlet


Looking for a caring and creative way to approach the world? A kinder more inclusive way to organize your work? A more meaningful way to live your life? This new pamphlet about how to apply the hundred-year-old ideas of Emma Goldman to life in the 21st century might give you some inspiring answers. The work on it has certainly inspired me. As the tickets for her talk in Ann Arbor back in 1910 said: “If you are interested in vital subjects and believe in thinking for yourself, Miss Goldman has a message for you.” 

In 1908, William Marion Reedy, then publisher of the St. Louis Mirror, said Emma Goldman was “8,000 years ahead of her time.” Reedy was responding to the nearly universal criticism of Goldman from the conservative establishment. I love the spirit of what he said. But upon further reflection, I feel like Reedy was off by about 7,900 years—I believe, with great enthusiasm, that Emma Goldman’s time is now! Many of her insights and beliefs form the framework for much of what we now know as “sustainable,” “progressive,” or “positive” business. That the then-controversial principles she put forward back in her own era, today offer us a healthy recipe for leading positive and meaningful lives. My proposal here is that she could become the 21st century’s prophet of progressive organizational thinking. As crazy as it would have sounded when she was alive, my belief is that applying Emma Goldman’s ideas in the business world would be a really good idea! That the revolution she wanted to instigate can now best be brought to fruition in the world of creative and progressive business. And equally so, in any organization that wants to create a better workplace and a more positive work experience. 

I’ve been studying and referencing Emma Goldman in various ways since I was about 18—all these years later, I’m honored and excited to release this new reading material! I wrote it as part of the June 27, 2019 celebration of Emma’s 150th birthday. In her own era, Emma Goldman was roundly criticized, rejected by nearly all of mainstream America. She was christened “The Queen of the Anarchists,” and labeled “the most dangerous woman in America” by J. Edgar Hoover. Although she passed away in 1940 at the age of 70, Emma Goldman’s ideas continue to be cutting edge—a creative and caring approach for healthy business and life in the 21st century. 

“Going into Business with Emma Goldman” brings together two seemingly incompatible approaches—the century-old, revolutionary, anarchist beliefs of Emma Goldman and the idea of implementing them in the business world with which she was, for most of her life, at odds. While writing the pamphlet, I started to imagine it as “an adventure in intellectual time travel—an uplifting, anarchist fable for the modern world.” It pulls extensively from her writing and speeches, and takes a few creative twists and turns to imagine her past a bit differently than it was, positioning her perspectives perfectly for the world of progressive business. 

The bulk of the “book” is organized around 18 lessons—all taken from Emma Goldman’s speeches, essays, and books—that I believe will breathe life into any caring company, interested organization—for, or not-for, profit; small or large; group or individual who wants to live a creative and fulfilled life! I know that they’ve made a big difference for me in my work and, through that, for the rest of our organization. The 60-page pamphlet also includes an essay by nationally-recognized executive coach, business writer, and great-niece of Emma Goldman, Dawna Markova; the program from the University’s symposium; the cake sketches done at the Bakehouse to design the birthday cakes for the events, and more. 

In an interview that followed Emma’s death, her friend and colleague Freda Diamond declared, “She opened your mind and made you think about things you never thought about before. That was her outstanding characteristic. She made people think!” I can say with certainty that Emma got me thinking. I hope the pamphlet gets you thinking as well.

Business + Anarchism = Inspiration

P.S. A limited edition, letterpress-printed broadside by Ann Arbor artist and printer James Horton, with a poem—in Ojibwe and English—by my friend, poet, writer, and teacher, Meg Noodin in honor of the work of Emma Goldman. ($36—all of which is donated to the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan’s Hatcher Graduate Library.)


Mississippi Mud Pie from the Bakehouse


A rootsy way to experience the best of Southern baking

I’ve got Mississippi on my mind these days! Next month, I’ll be heading down to Oxford, Mississippi to lead a visioning session for the Center for Southern Studies at Ole Miss University (a different U of M)!  I have great respect for their work, particularly so because they’re the “home base” of the Southern Foodways Alliance, one of my favorite food non-profits and the organization for whom we raise funds through our annual Camp Bacon! Mississippi is also on my mind because the Ann Arbor Blues Festival is coming up next month as well! And when I think of the blues, my mind goes first and very much foremost to the late, great, Mississippi native, Son House. His acoustic blues blow my mind every time I hear his music. Connections? Well, Son House was born just north of Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1902, the same year the Deli’s building was built.  Clarksdale is a quick hour’s drive to the west of Oxford, where I’ll be doing the vision work with the Center for Southern Studies. In 1969, Son House headlined at the very first Ann Arbor Blues Fest. Later in his life, he moved to Detroit and was living there when he passed away in 1988.  Cleary, the Mississippi to Michigan connections keep coming up! 
All of which is a very long, slightly slow moving, and sort of meandering (like the Mississippi River) way of arriving at my subject here, which is the marvelous Mississippi Mud Pie from the Bakehouse. An excessively (in the best possible way) extreme chocolate “cake”—it’s called a pie, but it always seems more like a cake to me—that was, apparently, named by some unknown baker, for its textural resemblance to the muddy banks of the Mississippi River. Mississippi Mud Pie’s origins? No one really seems to know! Even the late Craig Claiborne, longtime New York Times food writer, who was born and raised in Mississippi said he never knew how it started! (I am going to investigate further though when I go to see the folks at the Center for Southern Studies next month.)  What we do know is that if you like a great chocolate dessert, Mississippi Mud Pie is kind of magical. 
What is it?  It’s a dense, kind of brownie-like chocolate cake, that’s doused in dark chocolate ganache, then topped with housemade meringue!  Something to enjoy after dinner (with a cup of Roadhouse Joe?),for an afternoon pick me up, or, if you’re up for it, have pie for breakfast.  Whatever time of day you partake, I can tell you it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll love it!
Like all our cakes and pies (and cheese and ham and red wine), the Mississippi Mud Pie is best when served at room temperature.  If you buy a whole one to bring home, be sure to allow time for it to warm up a bit before you serve it—that way you’re sure to get the fine flavor and compelling complexity at full force. Chocolaty, intense, delicious, slightly addictive!  Amy Emberling from the Bakehouse says, “It’s super intense and a small amount goes a long way.”

Like Son House’s amazing music, Mississippi Mud Pie will probably never be our biggest seller, but it sure does make a soulful impact that will leave you with a lifetime of lovely food memories.  Other sweets may win bigger headlines, but if you like chocolate, I’m pretty sure that Mississippi Mud Pie will make you happy time and time again.  Once you experience it, I think it’s safe to say, just the thought of it will get you smiling!  And hungry!! 
The really good news is that you don’t have to call all the way to Clarksdale to have some. You can pick up the Mississippi Mud Pie at the Bakeshop (on Plaza Drive), at the Deli and, often, at the Roadhouse as well! 
Mississippi Mud Pie from the Bakehouse
P.S. In the spirit of “The Art of Business,” there’s one—and only one—piece of original poster art done by the Deli’s merchandising team for the Mississippi Mud Pie! Get it before it's gone!

New Season’s Wild Alaska King Salmon at the Roadhouse!

Michigan native Marie Rose ships amazing wild salmon back to her home state! 


In his book Culture Care, artist Makamoto Fujimora writes that, “A healthy culture is impossible without the participation of artists and other leaders who are educated intellectually, trained experientially, formed spiritually, and growing morally. Beauty is both a goal and a catalyst for each of these elements.” I couldn’t agree more. The idea that life and business and community are all art has continued to build for me—the learning path I got on in writing “The Art of Business” pamphlet resonates with me more all the time. People who will bring that kind of beauty are quietly, but effectively, making the world a better place, one meaningful action at a time. With her work at Shoreline Salmon, all the way out in Alaska, Marie Rose is bringing art alive in the very practical here and now. She seems certainly to be the sort of person to which Mr. Fujimora is referring, someone who is working to both preserve natural beauty and, at the same time, bring a small briny bit of that beauty to the rest of us in the form of some of the best tasting salmon in the world. And now, I’m happy to say, the freshly caught, meticulously-handled salmon we get from Marie and her partners is on the specials list this week at the Roadhouse

So how did a girl from a Battle Creek start a business catching and shipping salmon all the way in the Pacific Northwest? “I went to Michigan State and got a degree in Social Work,” Marie shared. “Most of my advocacy work in college was focused towards women’s issues: reproductive justice and domestic violence awareness. When I accepted a job in Alaska focused on salmon conservation, it was on a total whim. That’s what grounded me in creating this life in salmon. I’d never even eaten salmon before I moved there. In fact, I hated salmon. I realized once I was here that I’d never had good salmon and that’s why I didn’t eat it.” Fortunately, her good work with Shoreline is making it possible for more and more Michiganders to experience salmon in its superb, wild, delicious state. Five years after heading west “just because,” Marie is now a passionate fish buyer, a partner in a growing small business, a purveyor of some of the best salmon in the country, and someone who’s creating a constructive and sustainable future for a famous, if at times, faltering, fishery.

“Why is your fish different?” I asked. “Our salmon is all pressure bled,” Marie shared. “It takes a lot more time. We immediately cut the gills out and take the artery out and we insert this tiny hose that goes right into the main artery and flush the blood out really quickly and then we gut it. When the salmon is bled and gutted so quickly it really increases the quality of the fish. Most people don’t use the pressure bleeding—there’s just not a general sense of urgency to handle the salmon all that well.” What’s the alternative to the methods Marie, Joe, and Keith are so committed to? Basically, it’s the lower quality salmon that dominates the market. It’s not as fresh; the flavor and integrity of the fish has suffered significantly long before it gets close to a consumer. “The way we’re doing it with Shoreline,” Marie says, “people get paid a price [higher than ‘market’] that’s worth their while.” While it might seem mundane to be framing finance and craft in the same construct, this is exactly the sort of meaningfully artistic way to live that Fujimora suggests we find. Shoreline is not just some slick, superficial marketing campaign—their product is markedly better than most of what’s on the market! 

King salmon like this can weigh in at well over a hundred pounds, and the flavor of the fish is terrific! Meaty, big flavor, clean finish! If you haven’t had wild salmon before—and sadly—most Americans who live outside the Pacific Northwest might not—you’re in for a treat. Please know that every time you order it, you’re helping to preserve the natural beauty that has become a calling for this caring young woman from Battle Creek. And to help her spread that beauty, through better eating, into our own community here.

From Alaska to Ann Arbor's West Side

P.S. Marie and her partners are planning to be at the Roadhouse on March 10, 2020, for a special Alaska seafood dinner. It’ll be part of the 5th annual Jelly Bean Jump Up, our annual fundraiser for Safehouse Center, a cause close to Marie’s heart and mine. And there’ll be lots of good fish on the menu! 

P.P.S. For much more on Marie and Shoreline see the full article in Zingerman’s News—either in print at any Zingerman’s business or online!

All three flavors of peanuts from Zingerman's Candy

Poppin’ Spiced Peanuts from the Candy Manufactory

Three fine flavors: Salt & Pepper, Sweet Chili, and Cinnamon 


All three of the Candy Manufactory’s spiced peanuts make for some super summer eating—they’re a perfect snack for warm weather since they can stand the heat, hold up well for camping, are easy to pack for the car, and will pass through security at the airport. Even more importantly, they taste darned good. They’re also a great ingredient for other dishes—salads, rice dishes, or chopped on sautéed vegetables. 

The spiced Virginia Runner peanuts come out of the Candy kitchen in three flavors:

  • Salt & Pepper peanuts – the 5-Star Black Pepper Blend from Epices de Cru and French Fleur de Sel makes these pretty superb. I add ‘em to salads and chop them for noodle dishes as well as just eat ‘em out of hand! If you’re over at the Roadhouse we sell them by the glassful at the bar! I really like them on vanilla gelato—the interplay of sweet and savory is a great way to wake up one’s palate. 
  • Sweet Chili – one of my favorites—we buy it by the kilo for our house and we use it liberally at Miss Kim as well—are these gentle, subtly spicy, slightly sweet red chili flakes from a family producer in Korea. The chili peanuts are a great accompaniment to cocktails, beer or a good glass of Zinfandel. Actively addictive. 
  • Cinnamon-spiced – real Sri Lankan cinnamon, Indonesian cassia, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. Excellent of course out of hand, but even better on a gelato sundae, added to granola, or with a cup of the great Latin Summer Blend that’s on feature this month at the Coffee Company. The cinnamon peanuts turn out to be very good with the incredible Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses at the Deli—try it with the extra aged cheese from the Valserena dairy. Unexpectedly excellent!

All three, by the way, make for a terrific Tin Roof Sundae—I made one the other day with Creamery gelato (vanilla was great; peanut butter was powerfully good, too), chocolate sauce (check out the new American Spoon chocolate sauce on the shelves at the Cream Top Shop), and a generous dose of these peanuts! 

Come get them at the Candy Store (out by the Bakehouse on Plaza Drive), the Deli, the Cream Top Shop, or the Roadhouse.

Perfectly spiced peanuts
Montgomery's Cheddar at the Deli

Farmhouse Cheddar from Jamie Montgomery 

An English classic comes back!


One of the challenges of making, buying, and selling craft foods is that they’re never exactly the same from one day to the next. That’s also the beauty of them. I love that natural variability and the sense of discovery that goes with diving into any new adventure in artisan eating. That’s certainly the case with Montgomery’s cheddar—the family has been making it at Manor Farm in Somerset since 1910 when Jamie Montgomery’s grandfather, Sir Archibald Langman, began the work. Cheddar has been made on the farm ever since! 

(In Britain 1910 was the year that George V ascended to the throne. Here in Ann Arbor, Emma Goldman had come to town on Saturday, Feb 19 to speak a few blocks up from the Deli, at 109 N. Main, on “The Influence of Drama on Anarchism.” She made the front page of the Michigan Daily the next day!) 

Natural Law of Business #10 says that “Strengths Lead to Weaknesses”—what we’re good at, if we follow along the continuum to the other end of the spectrum, will also lead us to our struggles. Which, in a sense, sums up the last 40 years or so of cheesemaking at Montgomery’s. You can get rid of natural variability, but to a great extent, that safe middle-of-the-road consistency comes at the expense of quality. Back when I made my first visits to Neal’s Yard about 30 years ago, the Montgomery’s cheese, while good, was rarely the best. In fact, the cheese went through some hard times in the late ’80s, which is about the time that Jamie Montgomery took over the making. Troubled by the inconsistent quality, Jamie sought counsel from others in the area. Most “experts” advised him to move away from artisan cheese and shift towards a safer, more “modern,” industrial cheddar. Fortunately, the folks at Neal’s Yard and a few others were there to coach him back towards traditional flavorful cheese. 

Happily, he followed their advice—he committed to mastering the craft of old-school cheddar making, and, over a ten-year period, the cheese just got better and better. Small tweaks and constant effort at improvement paid off over time, and for a good 15 years or so Montgomery’s was my go-to for high-quality English farmhouse cheddar. But then the same nuanced natural variations that can make artisan cheese so special took a strange and unpleasant turn. Problems started to show up in the cheese. While never bad, it had lost its luster. Loyalty on our end means that we never abandoned it, but the cheese just wasn’t the same. But, again, Jamie made the commitment to figuring out what had happened, and then to making his way back to top quality. I’m happy to say he’s made it! The wheel of Montgomery’s that’s on the counter at the Deli is terrific! 

To this day, Jamie uses only the milk from his own herd of about 200 Holstein Friesian cows and sticks with the old-fashioned traditional starter cultures which take much longer to use but yield a far more flavorful cheese (much the same concept as our commitment to long rise times in the breads at the Bakehouse). He uses an old, rough-toothed “mill” that rips the curd up in a way that yields a more complex flavor and more interesting eating experience. 

Like I said, the cheese on the counter right now is killer. About 16 months of age, it’s got that lovely, slightly dry but not quite crumbly, dense texture. Really nutty with a nice hint of salinity. It’s really wonderful with a big chunk of that chestnut baguette from the Bakehouse, or with some of the new Walnut Sage loaf. Nibble a bit of cheese, sip a good ale, sit back, and enjoy a summer evening! Don’t delay in picking some up—supplies are limited! And as Zingernaut Jenny Tubbs says, you’ll kick yourself if you come in for some later and find that we’ve sold out! 

An English classic available at the Deli

5 Extra Little Things to Know 

  1. The Deli still has free delivery!
  2. Miss Kim is doing delivery as well!
  3. The Summer Sale at Mail Order and the Deli will be on until the end of the month! Don’t miss out! 
  4. Looking for something fun to feed folks on your next picnic? That Staff BBQ Spice I wrote about a few weeks ago is what we use on our BBQ potato chips! Grab a bag—or four—next time you’re at the Deli, Bakehouse, Roadhouse, or Cream Top Shop.
  5. Something like 200 people lined up last Saturday afternoon to buy a box of just-picked Georgia peaches from the Peach Truck! Good news! We just found out the Peach Truck will be back at the Roadhouse on July 27
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