Though I was glad to see the New York Times cover Zingerman's today in its business section, the piece somehow failed to convey the idiosyncratic soulfulness of both the Zingerman's family of businesses and its co-founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinsweig.
That family of businesses includes a world-class deli, the best food mail-order and online catalog I know, a bakery that turns out very good baked goods and bread, a creamery that churns out the best cream cheese I have ever tasted as well as a number of other fine artisanal cheeses, a roadhouse restaurant where they smoke their own meats, and even Zingtrain seminars where they dispense their unique set of business principles.
Having known them for more than ten years now, I can tell you that they are the ultimate enlightened capitalists. They are genuinely interested in saving the world one delicious bite at a time, and I can't think of many other people in the food world who have gone about their business in such unpretentious or unself-important fashion.
Photograph from carlcollins on Flickr