Day Two: Ann Arbor, Michigan
We rolled into Ann Arbor on the Wolverine, just before Midnight. There was a feeling in the air a bit like when we’re kids being dropped off at camp. We’d had a big first day, which included Emily joining us, driving us between interviews, and helping out in other ways. While the trip to Kalamazoo was only a hundred miles or so, once we felt the train pull out, following our comical gallop to board, we knew we were on our own.
We had familiar mentors lined up for interviews, in the well traveled home-turf of Ann Arbor, but the train had definitely left the station, so to speak. It was us and our gear and thirty four days to go. We were excited and encouraged from our first three interviews, and I felt hungry to dig into more, with our first day of school eagerness complemented by some freshly acquired grass stains on our new jeans.
Ann Arbor is rich with history of creative people striking out and getting things done. There’s a density to their food and art awareness, that’s frequently updated with each incoming class of students and travelers. Ann Arbor sets a high bar for everything, and when digging into it, you feel both the successes of those high aspirations, as well as the continual struggle and grit that comes with the pressure of keeping up.
We would wrap up our day, catching a lift to the train station after drinks with Brandon and Sarah upstairs at Grange. We left early, so we’d have plenty of time, and could avoid the stress of running for the train. We were at the station, enjoying a good chat in Brandon’s truck as Midnight approached, and with it came a train whistle from the West. We laughed aloud as we realized we’d chatted our way into an already-familiar fire drill of grabbing our gear and hustling towards the platform, to board our last train in Michigan, and head for Detroit.
Ari Weinzweig, Co-Owner and Founding Partner, Zingermans
Amy Emberling, Managing Partner, Zingerman's Bakehouse
A later guest in our trip said, “Ari is a genius. The world will write about what he and Paul have done – hell, they’re already writing about them.” We agree. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses are built thoughtfully and creatively while supporting and serving the greater Ann Arbor area. They are deeply connected to their vision as well as teaching people about how powerful that process can be.
Photo Gallery - Zingerman's
David Klingenberger, Owner & Chief Fermenting Officer
The world of fermented foods can sound exotic and far-fetched, but it’s more natural and simple than you might think. David went from making jars of sauerkraut for friends and family, to selling to farmer’s markets, restaurants and retailers. He’s added tempeh, kimchi, pickles, and hot sauce to round out the offerings, and his warm personality and easy laugh naturally invite people to learn more about how good fermented food is for us.
Photo Gallery - The Brinery
Brandon Johns, Owner, Chef
Brandon is a longtime collaborator and friend. His commitment to supporting farms and community through his food and business ethics is unwavering. He inspires many through his thoughtful and delicious dishes and his tireless determination to do things right.