Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community

Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community

by Micheline Maynard
Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community

Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community

by Micheline Maynard


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From an accomplished journalist, this illuminating chronicle of the trials, tribulations, and triumph of Zingerman’s—a beloved, $70 million-dollar Michigan-based gourmet food store with global reach—is “thoughtful reading for foodies and entrepreneurs” (Kirkus Reviews).

Certain businesses are legendary, exerting immense influence in their field. Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one of those places. Over the years the flagship deli has expanded into a community of more than a dozen businesses, including a wildly successful mail order operation, restaurants, bakery, coffee roastery, creamery, candy maker, and events space—transforming Ann Arbor into a destination for food lovers.

Founded in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s philosophy of good food, excellent service, and sound finances has turned it into a company whose reach spans all corners of the gourmet food world. Famous for its generous deli sandwiches, fresh bread, and flavorful coffee—all locally produced—Zingerman’s is also widely celebrated for its superb customer service and employee equity. The culture is one of respect and innovation, while maintaining very high standards. Every employee has access to the financial records, everyone has a voice, and everyone is heard. It has legions of enthusiastic customers, fans across the food world, and business principles and a work ethic that have been admired, analyzed, and copied. All that is revealed here, in Micheline Maynard’s Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Discover how by 2019, Zingerman’s employed hundreds of employees and achieved close to $70 million in annual sales. When the pandemic struck, Zingerman’s growth momentarily screeched to a halt—but it survived by reinventing itself, while still serving its beloved food and selling its wide array of groceries. Now, as Zingerman’s looks forward to a half century in business, it is on track for stronger results than ever. A recipe for success in business and in life, Satisfaction Guaranteed provides a roadmap for manifesting joy and purpose in everything you do.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982164614
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,076,319
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Micheline Maynard is a journalist, author, and professor. She is a contributing columnist at The Washington Post, where her essays on business and culture appear in Voices Across America. She has been a senior editor at NPR’s Here & Now and was a senior correspondent and Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times. She also writes for The Takeout and Medium. She is the author of four books, most notably The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market. She lives in New Orleans and Ann Arbor.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Part 1 The Backstory

Chapter 1 Zingerman's Best Day-and Its Worst 3

Chapter 2 How the Deli Came to Life 11

Part 2 Food and Philosophy

Chapter 3 A Tour of Zingerman's Deli 27

Chapter 4 Guiding Principles 41

Chapter 5 Service on Every Level 61

Part 3 Inside Zingerman's

Chapter 6 A Community of Businesses 77

Chapter 7 Mail Order 91

Chapter 8 The Bakehouse 101

Chapter 9 Coffee and Candy and Cheese 111

Chapter 10 What It's Like to Work at Zingerman's 125

Part 4 Beyond Ann Arbor

Chapter 11 Teaching Others 141

Chapter 12 Camp Bacon and Guests 155

Part 5 Looking Ahead

Chapter 13 The Pandemic Strikes 169

Chapter 14 The Future of Zingerman's 189

Epilogue: Zingerman's Vision for 2032 199

Appendix 217

Bibliography 219

Acknowledgments and a Note on Sourcing 221

Index 225

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