Ari's Top 5
Grow what belongs here. Be patient.

Ridgley Evers and Colleen McGlynn
A black and white photo of tree silhouettes

The Poetry of Staying in Place

39 years of being a local business—and appreciation to all of you for making that possible

Writing in the week with the shortest days of the year, I find myself thinking ahead, optimistically, toward spring. I know we have some hard months to work through. But I’m imagining that by the time the flowers start blooming in May, vaccination programs will be in full swing. We’ll have folks sitting outside eating together again, and things will be looking up.

May 8 is one day, in particular, that I’ve got marked on my calendar. It will be roughly the 43rd anniversary of when I got my first restaurant job at Maude’s as a dishwasher—when I first met Paul and Frank. It will be a week before the 13th anniversary of my mother’s passing. I mention the date here, though, because it will be the 91st birthday of poet, writer, and creative thinker Gary Snyder. Snyder still lives and writes, as he has for 45 years now, on his land near Nevada City in northern California. Over the years, both his prose and his poetry have given me great insight. So, on May 8, I’ll think of Gary, maybe read some of what he’s written, smile, nod, and make a note of how fortunate I am to have benefitted from his quiet presence on the planet.

When I hear, as I so often do, comments that imply that entire generations share the same behavioral characteristics and values, I shake my head at what feels to me like an unhelpful stereotype. The idea seems wholly implausible. While of course there are real “trends” to report on, the reality—my reality—is that there’s no way many millions of people all fit together into one neatly wrapped stereotyped generational package. If I doubt that belief, I have only to remind myself that the poet Gary Snyder and my mother were born within four months of each other. The year was 1930. The start of the Great Depression. She was born on August 2 in Chicago, four months after Gary Snyder entered the world in San Francisco. My mother, with all due respect, was a good person and caring member of her community, but she was about as straight an arrow as someone could be. Gary Snyder, on the other hand, has walked the edge of the creative world in the best possible ways, incorporated anarchism and Buddhism and the wilderness and beauty into a worldview that has brought poetry and creative writing to so many for so long. While my mom was working to help any number of Jewish non-profits in suburban Chicago, Snyder was hanging out in California with Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg, and the Beat poets. Then traveling the world extensively, speaking fluent Japanese and Chinese, and later appearing as a character in Kerouac’s classic book, The Dharma Bums.

There are many insights I’ve gleaned from Gary Snyder over the years. His poetry, his knowledge of nature and of other cultures, his wise humor, and his willingness to challenge the status quo have been—and still are—an inspiration to me. I have a whole file on my computer full of notes from his writing and his poetry readings that I reference fairly regularly. One thing, in particular, that Snyder said a long time ago has stayed with me for years:

The best way, maybe the only way, to change a situation is to imagine, even to declare that you will stay where you are, in your locale, the rest of your life.

If you had told me when I first arrived in Ann Arbor in 1974 that Snyder’s statement would be my life, I would have laughed. But then, I’d have laughed even harder if you told me I’d later be in the food business, writing books, speaking to audiences of thousands of people, or helping lead a business that did $50,000,000 in annual sales. At 18 I was just happy I’d finally made the decision to come here to go to U of M. Four years later, in 1978, I’d graduated with my history degree and was trying to figure out “what was next.” Not wanting to slide back into life in the Chicago suburbs, I took a job as a dishwasher (much to my mother’s dismay) at Maude’s on 4th Avenue. My decision to stay was only minimally about attraction to Ann Arbor, and mostly about not knowing where else to go. The last thing I had on my mind was staying here for the rest of my life. That decision changed my life. Four years later, in March of 1982, Paul (who’d been the GM at Maude’s when I started) and I were getting ready to open the Deli.

I can’t remember exactly when I first saw Gary Snyder’s statement about mindfully making the choice to stay in the same place for the rest of your life. I’m pretty sure it was referenced in a book I was reading by the psychologist James Hillman. I knew nothing about Gary Snyder, but reading what he’d said made me more than a bit anxious. Staying put for so long—forever, actually—seemed so… constricting. Maybe even crazy. Later though, I realized I’d read rather superficially. Gary didn’t say you actually had to stay in the same place; only to “imagine, even to declare” that you were going to. His point was less about what one ultimately did, and more about one’s intention. And, in that context, it suddenly made total, radical, sense. It was less about being shackled to a spot, than it was about freely choosing to stay in place for long enough to leave a positive and lasting mark on it. After all, we will tend to act very differently when we think we’re just passing through, than we would when we know we’re going to be living, up close, with our legacy in a locality for the rest of our lives. It took me a bit to get there, but ultimately I took Gary Snyder up on his suggestion to:

Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.

Looking back, I can’t really say for sure whether I found the place, or maybe, just as likely, the place found me. But, 40 years later, here I am, happily, by choice, living in Ann Arbor. And as I write today, Gary Snyder’s statement is at the core of my beliefs about business. All these decades down the road, I have a strongly held belief about doing business in the locale in which we live. And a commitment to keeping our organization alive and thriving, contributing to the community in which it started so many years ago now, for what, in this modern era, seems an almost shockingly long time. While so many modern businesses simply start opening more units in more cities, or sell out to bigger corporate consolidators, I/we want—have chosen—to simply stay put.

Way back when we opened the Deli in 1982 (when unemployment was at its highest point in the 20th century and interest rates were at 18 percent), we had the strong desire to start a business that would be unique and special. A place that people would experience in such meaningful ways that they would carry the memories of the experience with them wherever they went. Over the years, as I reflected—sometimes consciously, sometimes just quietly in a back corner of my mind—Gary Snyder’s statement kept me thinking. That Zingerman’s might not only be about making a special and delicious destination, but, also, about what it would mean to have Zingerman’s be only in this one single and very particular spot. To “dig in” and bond ever more deeply into the ecosystem in which we were ensconced. To become a special place, within a special place. Gary’s statement quietly kept challenging me to commit, recommit, and recommit again, to the idea of keeping our business based here in the town in which we were living and working. To dig into the belief that there was something that was sustainable, local, inspiring, interesting, and important about doing business only here. Yes, we ship food all over the U.S. Yes, we do training around the world. Yes, we now do virtual BAKE! and ZingTrain classes. But to come to Zingerman’s, you have to come to Ann Arbor. That, like everything in life, we could look at that as a constriction. Or, we could see it the way Gary Snyder said, when he shared this philosophical framework:

Discipline and freedom are not opposed to each other. We are made free by the training that enables us to master necessity, and we are made disciplined by our free choice to undertake mastery.

Over the years, this idea resonated with me more and more. To do business in the place you are fit in with so much else I was studying. The growing economic emphasis on local. Anarchism. Ecology. Ecosystems. It fit too with the work of Wendell Berry, Gary Snyder’s longtime friend and another writer who’s had a big influence on me. Berry, born August 5, 1934 (three days after my mother’s fourth birthday), has also made Gary Snyder’s statement about digging in and committing to where you are a very meaningful reality. In 1965, at the age of 31, he and his family moved back from New York City where he was teaching writing, to rural Kentucky, to a farm near the town of Port Royal. Fifty-five years later, he’s still there farming and writing prose, poetry, and fiction. In an interview with Bill Moyers, Berry shared:

I say to the young people, don’t get into this with the idea that you’re gonna solve all the problems… The important thing to do is to learn all you can about where you are… to learn everything about that place. To make common-cause with that place. And then resign yourself to becoming patient enough to work with it over a long time. Then you’ll increase the possibility that you will make a good example. And what we’re looking for… are good examples.

I hope, with our work here at Zingerman’s, over what is now almost 39 years here in Ann Arbor, we would be the kind of example that Wendell Berry was looking for. At the least I know that Gary Snyder likes what we do. After visiting us for the first time, back when he was 85, he sent me one of the kindest compliments we’ve ever gotten: “Zingerman’s is a remarkable synthesis of the old and the new, the elite and the populist. I loved it!”

Doing business only in the place that you’re in, saying “no” to the idea of national expansion and franchises, isn’t really new. It’s the way people have worked for most of human history. But so much has changed in the last few centuries. To start a business and stay put—to become well known, but still not leave—has become something of a radical act. Maybe it fits with what Gary Snyder meant when he said he was a “post-revolutionary.”

All these years later, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not just passing through town. Rather, I guess, the town passes through me. I’m not saying this way to work is the right path for others, but for me, being in this place—in a positive place like this—has helped me to be myself. As Gary Snyder says, "A knowledge of place contributes to knowledge of self.” Part of how I’ve become the imperfect person I am is by being surrounded by so many great people. To be part of, in my own introverted way, this imperfect but special community. Snyder also said: "To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are a part of a part and that the whole is made of parts, each of which is whole. You start with the part you are whole in.” I feel whole in Ann Arbor. What was originally incidental became, over time, intentional.

Wendell Berry writes, “Community depends on the sympathy and moral imagination that thrives on contact, on tangible connection.” When we’re here, when people know how to get a hold of us, when we see the difference—for both better and for worse—that we make in people’s lives first hand, it changes the way we work. Every day I get email compliments and email complaints. Suggestions, course corrections, and ideas for improvement. They come from people who care about, and are connected to, Zingerman’s in meaningful ways. We can keep our own spiritual balance sheet in our heads by holding close to how many lives we’ve made better. By being in town, I believe, we stand a greater chance of making real what Ron Lippitt (the man who developed the core of our approach to visioning here in Ann Arbor back in the 60s) advocated, when he called on community leaders to “raise the appreciative and spiritual standard of living.”

I hope that this small corner of the world, lived in and lovingly cared for, for so many centuries by Ojibwe people, later settled by English and French and Germans, a stop on the Underground Railroad… is a bit better for our organizational presence. I know we are better for having been here. I hope this town—that’s been home over the years to remarkable people like Ron Lippitt, Brenda Ueland, Tom Hayden, Iggy Pop, Jane Dutton, Omari Rush, Wayne Baker, John U. Bacon, Micki Maynard, Robin Kelley, Keith Taylor (who brought Gary Snyder in for dinner), Lisa Barry, Lisa Cook, Bo Schembechler, and Mary Graham (the first African American woman to graduate from U of M back in 1880); a place that’s been visited by so many wonderful people from around the world for everything from conferences on philosophy, to football games, concerts, poetry readings, and training on pipefitting; home to The Ark, the Michigan Theater and the African American Cultural and Historical Center—has been enriched by Zingerman’s “digging in.”

Wendell Berry once said, “Part of manners used to be to say to somebody you just met, ‘Where are you from?’ And I quit asking it, because so many people say they’re from everywhere or nowhere.” I’m honored to say I’m from Ann Arbor. Being here in what the world calls Washtenaw County has helped make us the special (still highly imperfect) business that we are. I hope that we honor all of those people who were helping to make this place what it is long before Zingerman’s ever existed.

Next month we will formally embark on the implementation of our 2032 Vision. It will put the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses at 50 years. Here’s one very small snippet of what’s in the vision:

Community Roots
Staying put in order to grow

“First, don’t move;
and second, find out what that teaches you.”
Gary Snyder

It’s fifty years down the road and we continue to base our businesses in the Ann Arbor area. It’s a huge piece of what makes us who we are. We are part of this place more deeply than ever. It challenges us to stay close, it excites us, it makes us creative. It’s a powerful and paradoxical paradigm. By choosing to stay local we have opened up opportunities we never imagined.

The entire vision is about ten pages long, so there’s much more to it than those few lines. It’s a lot about continuing to improve in all of what we do. Because as Gary Snyder writes, “The preserver of abundance is excellence.” I’ll have finished copies to share with you by late January. At the core of the whole thing, though, is that we will continue to work as if we will—if we do our job well, and fortune and the community are with us—stay where we are for a long time to come.

All which leads me to the appreciation I put in the December issue of “Zingerman’s News,” the print newsletter we still put out every few months. (My mother was adamant about sending thank you notes.) In the spirit of staying in the same place for a long time, we’re on issue #281.

…the main point of writing this… is to express deep thanks and appreciation to you. To thank you for supporting us—a business that, I hope and believe, is very much of this place called Ann Arbor. When people have asked over the course of the year, how we’re doing at Zingerman’s, one of things that I regularly respond with is: “If you’re going to go through a pandemic, Ann Arbor is a really great place to go through it. The business situation is, at best, super stressful, but still—if we’re going to be going through the challenges of this year, I’m very glad to be doing it here. This evening as I’m writing this, sitting outside in the lovely light of one of those near perfect, early autumn Ann Arbor evenings that we all wish there were more of.

Thank YOU for being such a positive, caring, and supportive community. Thank you for being truly committed to our getting through this. Thank you for acting kindly and treating our crew so well through the duress of the last eight months. Thank you for taking public health seriously. Thank you for working to make the community more inclusive and to elevate the lives of those who have so often been left out. Thank you for trying to do the right thing, finding paths that honor each of us as individuals while still caring about the collective good. There are clearly systems to overhaul, and a whole lot of listening, talking, teaching and training to be done. Injustices to be righted, kindnesses to be communicated, generosity to be generated. Thank you for holding the course. We will get through this. Together. It’s not easy. But it can, I believe, be done. Other than the weather, I’ve never doubted my decision to stay in Ann Arbor. In fact, I love and appreciate the town more with each passing year. This year, as rough as it’s been, maybe more than ever.

John O’Donohue said that in the wilderness, animals have a “sense of fluency with the place they are in and the way they move in it.” I imagine that to be the case here for me, and for our organization. I hope that our work at Zingerman’s can help make it that way for you as well. In the spirit of O’Donohue’s appeal to boost the presence of beauty in small but meaningful, every-day-ways, I hope that… our imperfect organizational presence, is what John O’Donohue might have considered a blessing on the community. That’s certainly our intent. I believe we can get through this best by treating every person we come into contact with, with dignity; by revamping and revising systems to ensure that dignity is delivered to everyone, every day and in every way; by leading with appreciation, joy and generosity. There are a lot of problems to fix. I hope it doesn’t seem totally Pollyanna to believe John O’Donohue’s gentle words: “There are limitless possibilities within each one of us and, if we give ourselves any chance at all, it is unknown what we are capable of.”

Thanks to Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry—and my mother—for their guidance and insight shared from afar over all these years. And more importantly, thank you to all of you for making what we do every day at Zingerman’s possible and for the chance to be some small positive part of such a special place.

(P.S. None of this, to be clear, is written to critique businesses that open in places far afield from where they started. I know many, and I have many friends who run them. I’m not here to tell others what to do, only to share my own commitment—our commitment—to staying strongly and positively present in the community. Others have written much more extensively about the social and economic impacts of doing business locally. See the work of the marvelous Michael Shuman.)

If you’re looking for last minute gifts, we can still get you signed copies of books and pamphlets. Call the Deli, Roadhouse, or Coffee Company, or order from In the spirit of what I wrote above, they’re all designed here in house and printed locally!
Slices of stollen laying in a pan, with a cup of warm cocoa next to it

Zingerman’s Bakehouse Stollen

Classic German Christmas cake, loaded with butter, dried fruit, spices and more!

While there are many recipes for stollen, the Bakehouse’s has been a big favorite around these parts—and around the country—for well over 25 years now. It’s made with an incredible array of ingredients including sweet butter, Bacardi rum, lemon, orange, Michigan dried cherries, citron, currants, almonds, golden and Red Flame raisins, Indonesian cinnamon, lots of real vanilla, and more. When you nibble a bit, at first you get a touch of creaminess on the tongue from the powdered sugar. Then you taste the butter and dried fruit as you break through the thin crust, followed by the tartness of the dried cherries, and the sweetness of the raisins. The citrus stays brightly in the background; the vanilla and cinnamon come through subtly, but meaningfully, in the finish. And it all lingers with a really nice, mouth-watering finish. I snacked on some the other day while sipping a cup of super smooth, beautifully delicious, Holiday Blend brewed in a syphon pot at the Coffee Co.

For a bit of historical context—in case you thought politics and policy struggles were only modern headaches—the origins of stollen were with a much simpler, staid, and stern product. Early stollen was hardly something to celebrate—it was made only from flour, oats, and water, made in a world in which decisions were being made for bakers from many thousands of miles away. Back in medieval times, Advent was a time of serious fasting—bakers were banned from using butter. Saxon German nobles wrote to the Pope and requested permission to stop using oil (which was very rare and costly in Germany) and switch back to butter. Their request was denied by Pope Nicholas. It took six more Popes before Innocent VIII, in 1490, gave permission in what became known as “The Butter Letter” for bakers to use butter without having to pay a fine (though still only when the stollen in question was baked for the local nobles). Later there was a way to buy dispensations to use butter, but the cost remained out of reach for everyday people.

The story is a superb example of what happens when decisions are made far from the place where the impact is felt. Giving up butter when you live in Rome—where olive oil was always in abundance—was hardly a big deal! But in Germany, where butter and dairy were what you built your daily meals around, it was another story altogether. It happens today, still, in big companies and in countries—a decision that was barely relevant in the lives of the rulers caused serious hardship for those being ruled. When you’re not looking someone in the eye, when you don’t sit at the counter next to them, when you don’t see them in church, or in the park, or pick their kid up after school sometimes, it’s a whole lot easier to be harsh. The consequences in communities are not insignificant. In her book, Butter: A Rich History, Elaine Khosrova writes, “It seems hardly a coincidence that most of the dairy-rich countries producing and using butter were the same nations that broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century.”

But back to the moment, the main thing is that the Bakehouse’s butter-laden stollen tastes terrific! The stollen warms up beautifully on Xmas morning (or any other morning, for that matter). Grace at the Deli recommends “grilling” slices of it in butter in a sauté pan till the cut face of the stollen has turned golden brown. It comes in a lovely cloth, stollen-sack too!

Pickup stollen from the Bakehouse today
Pickup from the Deli
Ship stollen to anywhere in America
A package of Ben Shan Oolong tea

Ben Shan Oolong Tea from Fujian

New arrival at the Deli brews a delicious cup

Thanks to the hard work and passionate pursuit of excellence of longtime Deli staffer Jackson Konwinski, we have this lovely new oolong tea that’s only recently arrived from China. The Ben Shan is a delicate and delicious Tieguanyin (aka, “Iron Goddess of Mercy”) oolong—partially oxidized, so maybe I’d say about 40% of the way along the continuum from the unoxidized green teas in the direction of the full oxidized black. It’s made in Fujian province, in the Min Nan region, about a hundred miles by sea west of Taiwan, and about halfway by road between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The province has a prominent place in tea history—it’s the home of the oolong tea-making methodology.

Jackson has done a ton of terrific work to bring new teas into the Deli. Here’s his take:

Our selection comes from the mountains of the Shantou region in AnXi county, Fujian province. The name, Ben Shan, literally translates to “Source Mountain,” indicating this tea’s geographical provenance. This lot was made by Mr. Lin using a traditional small leaf Fujian tea cultivar. This particular selection is abundantly floral despite not being a scented tea. The magic comes from the terroir and expert leaf manipulation.

For brewing, Jackson recommends “Short, relatively cool, steepings—2 minutes at 190°F after a brief rinse. It yields an amber liquor that is sweet and floral: reminiscent of lilies and orchids in a clean spring rain.” Like most good Chinese teas, the Ben Shan can take multiple steeps and is very good brewed in the old Gong Fu method (tiny pots filled with tea leaves getting a series of six or seven very short steeps). I’ve brewed it Western-style in a larger pot, using as Jackson suggests, water that’s a bit below boiling temperatures and have been very happy with the results. In fact, I’m sipping some now as I write.

If you know a tea drinker who’s up for something special, calming, well collected, grounded in history, and steeped in tradition, buy them a bag of this great offering. What we have is a current crop tea from the spring of 2020, so it is still wonderfully fresh and lively in the cup. It’s got light green leaves. Subtly citrusy, bright, light, and vibrant in its flavor. Restorative and refreshing with a bit of sweetness in the finish. The aroma makes me think of spring, much the way I was while reflecting on honoring Gary Snyder’s birthday in May. Given his time and work in Asia, I have a feeling he would enjoy its very floral, elegant, excellence.

Get Ben Shan from the Deli

P.S. You won’t see the Ben Shan for sale on the site, but if you email us at we’ll be happy to ship you some!

Two rounds of Manchester cheese, one with a slice taken out of it. The wavy, bumpy texture on the outside is visible.

Manchester Cheese from the Creamery

Local cheese for cheese lovers everywhere

One of the many things that makes me happy about being tied to the town the way that we are is that, thanks to everyone at the Creamery, we’ve been able to establish the idea of local cheese. In Europe it’s pretty much the norm that nearly every town or region would have a cheese of its own. But here in the U.S. it’s become a rarity. If we stay dug in as I believe we will, we can continue to make “local cheese” here for a long time to come.

The Manchester is a soft, creamy-textured cow’s milk cheese with a delicate white rind. When they’re on the younger side, the small wheels are softly fluffy and almost spreadable; as they mature they get denser and fuller in flavor. I tried some from a moderately aged wheel late last week, and it tasted fantastic. If you want to bring someone you care about a terrific local taste of Ann Arbor, one of these small (four-inch wide) wheels of Manchester would be a marvelous item to include. Its flavor is accessible enough that even those who are relatively new to good cheese would really like it. And yet its complexity and character are compelling and interesting in ways that any soft-cheese lover will be super excited as well.

At the Cream Top Shop, we offer a nice grilled cheese “toasty” on the menu, made with Manchester and fig jam from Croatia on Bakehouse bread. When you set the milkiness of the Manchester against the sweet swirl of the jam and put the whole thing between two slices of golden brown grilled Bakehouse bread, and you’ve got yourself one seriously superb little meal. My serving suggestion right now is to pick up a wheel and also a bag of the beautiful red walnuts from the Deli. Toast a few of the walnuts and then lay them on top of the cheese. Drizzle with a bit of walnut oil if you like too. Goes great with any of the Bakehouse breads but I’m particularly partial to pairing it with the Country Miche.

Pickup Manchester from the Creamery
Ship Manchester anywhere in America
Four candy sticks wrapped in colorful paper, each a different flavor

Come Pick Up Some Polka Pigs at The Candy Store

Sweet looking—and tasting—candy sticks from Sweden

It’s been about a month since we first got these cool candy sticks in from Sweden. Beautiful, individually-wrapped in white paper, the thick, four-inch long, 50-gram candy sticks are still, as they have been since 1859, handmade in the Swedish town of Gränna in the region of Småland. Gränna lies about a third of the way from Gothenburg, east towards Stockholm, and a couple hours north of Rashult (where the famous 18th century botanist, zoologist, and physician Carl Linnaeus was born). The polkagris were first made by Amalia Erickson—a statue of whom still stands in the town’s main park—and the small business she started is still going strong, in the same town in which she founded it 160 years ago.

The candy sticks bear the rather unusual name, polkagris. No one seems to know why she picked the name—it means “polka pig” in Swedish. When you’re able to travel again (this summer?), consider going to Gränna for a visit. The polkagris factory and retail shop that’s attached to it has been a regular destination for visitors for many decades now. Up until the pandemic, they were providing tours for visitors as well as classes in candy-making. The candy makers—the real ones, not the students—go through years of apprenticeship before they’re ready to become masters. Yes, it’s hard candy, but it’s still a craft, not an industrial science—the recipe and the work need to be adjusted daily depending on the weather and humidity just as we do at the Bakehouse.

To make the polkagris, the ingredients are mixed and boiled to just over 300°F. The molten hot candy mass is poured out and worked by hand till it gets to the right texture. Small pieces of colored “candy dough” are rolled in near the end of the process to become the “stripes” on the sticks. Different flavors, of course, have different colors. All are then hand wrapped in the traditional paper. The Polkagris have been such a hit at the Candy Store that in the time it took me to write this piece we’ve already sold out of peppermint. But we still have Strawberry, Pear (my favorite), and very compelling Cola on hand. The flavors are all great. And the package is perfect for sliding in a backpack, a coat pocket, or as a stocking stuffer.

When it comes to candy, Sweden is #1! Swedes eat about 35 pounds per person every year. (By contrast, Americans consume a mere 22 pounds!)

Visit the Candy Pop-Up Store in Zingerman's Coffee
P.S. The Candy Store is packed full of tasty and terrific confectionary offerings. If you’re in the mood for more candy from Sweden, the candy capital of the world, we have some of the lovely handmade licorice and all natural artisan Swedish fish from the folks at Kolsvart on hand too.

Other Things on My Mind

Congrats to Miss Kim for getting onto Food and Wine’s “Best Things We Ate This Year” list!

If you’re looking for an incredible, never-to-be-forgotten gift for someone you really love, and show that you’re going to “stay where you are… the rest of your life,” consider a Zingerman’s Food Tour.

The Roadhouse has cocktails to-go to build on our long-standing ability to sell you wine and beer by the bottle to-go through the Roadshow. The Deli, if you didn’t know, has a small wine selection for sale as well.

Maggie Bayless and Grace Singleton, who have been in Ann Arbor about as long as I have and have been integral partners here in making Zingerman’s what it is (at ZingTrain and the Deli respectively) are going to interview me on Zoom in what promises to be a really interesting conversation about the new pamphlet, “Humility: A Humble, Anarchistic, Inquiry.” I love talking to both Maggie and Grace about pretty much anything interesting so I’m looking forward to it. Hope you can join us. As Wendell Berry wrote long ago: “To counter the ignorant use of knowledge and power, we have… only a proper humility.”


Advance Base - I started listening to, and enjoying, Owen Ashworth’s Advance Base years ago. Quirky, one-of-a-kind, indie music all the way, he works in my hometown of Chicago. If you like this sort of thing—and I obviously do—his music is awesome. Plus, he has some of my favorite non-traditional Christmas Songs. Christmas in Dearborn, Christmas in Oakland, Christmas in Nightmare City and an entire album of non-traditional Christmas songs of his own and others.

Chanukah is over, but if you haven’t heard and watched this


Check out Ann Arbor’s own Ken Fischer’s new book. Ken retired a few years ago after three decades as the head of University Musical Society and his new book is the story of how he worked with the team to diversify offerings, increase inclusion and broaden the cultural constructs that UMS presented on the stage. His work has been recognized nationally and now his new book tells much of the story.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this enews and you know someone else who might like it, please pass it along. Have questions about Zingerman’s? Write us at
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