About Us

About Zingerman's & ZingTrain

Zingerman’s was founded in March 1982 by Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw as a small corner delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today we are a community of ten unique businesses, with 700+ employees and over 65+ million dollars in annual revenue. We’re still in Ann Arbor, and it’s in our long-term vision that we’ll grow to include 12-18 businesses, all in the Ann Arbor area. During our 35+ years in business, Zingerman’s has been recognized nationally not just for our exceptional products and customer service, but also for our unique business model.

The Coolest Small Company in America." – Inc. Magazine

Inc. Magazine called us the “Coolest Small Company in America," and we've been featured in the Harvard Business Review and on MSNBC for our business practices. In his book, Small Giants, Bo Burlingham cited Zingerman’s as a model for organizations that define success more creatively than just “getting as big as we can as fast as we can.” And Saveur magazine lauded Zingerman’s for its impeccable customer service.

Our Story

With the founding of ZingTrain in 1994, we began to formally share our approach to business through 2-day seminars, 4-hour workshops and also books and digital learning.

ZingTrain’s founding and managing partner, Maggie Bayless, specializes in training and instructional design and developed Zingerman’s Bottom Line Training® approach. Maggie worked out of her attic for the first couple of years, eventually moving into “real” office space in a basement across the street from Zingerman’s Deli. No longer a one-woman show and no longer in an attic (or a basement!), the ZingTrain team now works out of a custom-designed training facility on the south side of Ann Arbor, near Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Candy Manufactory, Creamery and Coffee Company and across town from Zingerman’s Deli and Miss Kim.

ZingTrain offers public seminars on a range of business-related topics, ranging from customer service and leadership to marketing and HR, and regularly conducts private sessions of those seminars for individual organizations.

The tools, techniques and methodologies taught at ZingTrain have been tested and honed by implementation and constant improvement at each and every one of the eight Zingerman’s businesses. Our clients tell us that while many things make the ZingTrain experience special, one of the most important is the fact that they learn about systems in our classroom and then see those very tools in action when they visit our businesses.

Our Model

Many of the accolades from the business world reference a new and sustainable way to work— what is now frequently referred to as the “Zingerman’s model.” This model begins with our belief in the power of Visioning and includes a commitment to Open
Book Management and opportunities for employee ownership. Our first long-term vision (Zingerman’s 2009) painted the picture of a radically different growth model—
a community of businesses: each unique, each contributing to the success of the others and each with managing partners who have an equity stake and run the day-to-day operations.

As 2009 approached and our vision was no longer “long-term,” we put our vision hats back on and developed Zingerman’s 2020 Vision, which has kept us inspired and growing, and still in Ann Arbor! As 2020 approaches, we're working on the finishing touches for our 2032 Vision – we can't wait to see what the next 12 years will bring!