Ari’s Pick: Juliette’s Almond Croissants

An intensely excellent coming together of confectionary and croissanterie

Like almonds? Have a hankering for something sweet? Big on butter? Love a good pastry with your morning coffee? Fascinated by France? These and other great questions can all be answered with one good word for the pastry-wise: Juliette. It’s the ZCoB’s not-secret code name for the almond croissants that—if you’re an almond lover—might well work its way into your daily routine as it has so many other folks around here. 

Although they don’t get a lot of headlines, the Juliette Almond Croissants are exceptionally excellent. As with all our croissants, they’re very much traditionally made—real butter and lots of laminated layers of dough. The Bakehouse’s pastry crew carefully fills each one by hand with a double dose of almond frangipane—a classic baker’s blend of ground almonds and sugar—used to fill a multi-layered classic butter croissant. It was created in honor of Matt and Mark Jonna of Plum Market’s mother, whose name is Juliette. Given her lifelong love affair with almond croissants, it seemed fitting to name these Bakehouse beauties after her.

What makes them special

If you don’t know from frangipane, let me share what Amy Emberling, long-time co-managing partner at the Bakehouse, and co-author of the beautiful Zingerman’s Bakehouse cookbook, says: 

I enjoy my frangipane by the spoonful, straight up as you might say, but since that’s not socially acceptable, or appropriate for a bakery to sell, we came up with this riff on the classic French almond croissant. The buttery, flaky pastry is a perfect vehicle for the smooth, rich, almond frangipane. It’s replaced my daily spoonful. 

My girlfriend, Tammie Gilfoyle, who’s been working with food professionally for most of her adult life, totally LOVES them. She says, “They’re a frangipane lover’s dream! When you put together all that butter in the pastry and the frangipane, you get a pretty special croissant!” Tammie’s not alone—folks I talk to that are into almonds are equally enthused about these special French pastries from the Bakehouse. 

I love the almond croissants accompanied by a spoonful of good jam—my favorites are either the Agrimontana Fig from northern Italy or the American Spoon Early Glow Strawberry. Break open the croissant, stick in a spoonful of jam, and eat up! The intense flavor of the concentrated fruit is a fantastic pairing with the consummate nuttiness of the frangipane! Grab a cup of our Organic Brazilian Peaberry coffee (see below), take a deep breath, appreciate the hard work of the Bakehouse pastry crew, and enjoy the beauty of both the coffee and the almond croissant while you eat. 

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

  • Sign up for Ari’s Top 5 enewsletter to hear more from Ari every week!
  • Want to make sure we have an almond croissant ready and waiting for you? Give us a call (734-761-2095) to reserve yours. You can also find our croissants at the Coffee Company, the Deli, and at the Roadhouse.
  • Get on the waitlist for our hands-on baking class, Ooh La La Croissants, to learn how to make them yourself.
Ari headshot
Ari Weinzweig
Co-Founding Partner at Zingerman's

In 1982, Ari Weinzweig, along with his partner Paul Saginaw, founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen with a $20,000 bank loan, a Russian History degree from the University of Michigan, 4 years of experience washing dishes, cooking and managing in restaurant kitchens and chutzpah from his hometown of Chicago. They opened the doors with 2 employees and a small selection of specialty foods and exceptional sandwiches.

Today, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is a nationally renowned food icon and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses has grown to 10 businesses with over 750 employees and over $55 million in annual revenue. Aside from the Delicatessen, these businesses include Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Coffee Company, Creamery, Roadhouse, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Candy Manufactory, Cornman Farms and a Korean restaurant that is scheduled to open in 2016. No two businesses in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses are alike but they all share the same Vision and Guiding Principles and deliver “The Zingerman’s Experience” with passion and commitment.

Besides being the Co-Founding Partner and being actively engaged in some aspect of the day-to-day operations and governance of nearly every business in the Zingerman’s Community, Ari Weinzweig is also a prolific writer. His most recent publications are the first 4 of his 6 book series Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading Series: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business (Part 1), Being a Better Leader (Part 2), Managing Ourselves (Part 3) and the newly-released Part 4, The Power of Beliefs in Business. Earlier books include the Zingerman’s Guides to Giving Great Service, Better Bacon, Good Eating, Good Olive Oil, Good Vinegar and Good Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Ari regularly travels across the country (and world) on behalf of ZingTrain, teaching organizations and businesses about Zingerman’s approach to business. He is a sought-after Keynote speaker, having delivered keynotes for Inc. 500, Microsoft Expo Spring Conference, Great Game of Business Gathering of Games, Positive Business Conference at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the American Cheese Society. Most recently, Ari and Paul Saginaw were invited to address an audience of 50,000 for the University of Michigan 2015 Spring Commencement.

One of Zingerman’s Guiding Principles is being an active part of the community and in 1988, Zingerman’s was instrumental in the founding of Food Gatherers, a food rescue program that delivers over 5 million pounds of food each year to the hungry residents of Washtenaw county. Every year Zingerman’s donates 10% of its previous years profits to local community organizations and non-profits. Ari has served on the board of The Ark, the longest continuously operating folk music venue in America.

Over the decades, the Zingerman’s founding partners have consistently been the recipients of public recognition from a variety of diverse organizations. In April 1995, Ari and Paul were awarded the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County’s first Humanitarian Award. In 2006, Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the James Beard Foundation. In 2007, Ari and Paul were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit magazine for their work in the food industry. Ari was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Cheese Society in 2014. And Ari’s book, Building a Great Business was on Inc. magazine’s list of Best Books for Business Leaders.

Notwithstanding the awards, being engaged on a daily basis in the work of 10 businesses and 21 partners, writing books on business and in-depth articles on food for the Zingerman’s newsletter, Ari finds time to be a voracious reader. He acquires and reads more books than he can find room for. Ari might soon find himself the owner of the largest collection of Anarchist books in Ann Arbor outside the Labadie collection at the University of Michigan library!

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