Ari’s Pick: Chocolate Doughnuts Every Sunday at the Bakeshop

A delightful doughnut delicacy

Looking for a way to make next Sunday—or any Sunday—particularly special?

a stack of three chocolate doughnutsOne of the best ways around the ZCoB is to swing by the Bakeshop and pick up a couple of these awesome, attention-getting, chocolate-covered doughnuts. We only make them once a week. The good news is you can get a lot of goodness from even just that single day of doughnuts. Stanley Ulijaszek, professor of Human Ecology, says that the doughnut is “engineered to deliver the maximum amount of pleasure.”

They’ve long been one of Amy Emberling’s favorites! Here’s what Amy, long-time managing partner at the Bakehouse, a member of our Stewardship Council and co-author of Zingerman’s Bakehouse, says:

No matter how common a dessert may be, it’s possible to make a version that is particularly delightful. This is true for even the ubiquitous chocolate covered doughnut. We make them every Sunday and even though they are not the most sophisticated or complicated sweet treat I still thoroughly enjoy them and manage to have one almost every week. (Okay, everyone knows that I love them and often I find one placed square and center on my desk, saved for me just in case we sell out. Being thought of by a secret doughnut elf definitely adds to the tasty-ness of my first bite.)

What do I appreciate about our version? For me it starts with the basic doughnut. Ours have a toothy chew to them, greater substance than typical commercial doughnuts, and a mild faintly sweet flavor. We avoid having them taste yeasty and give them more substance by reducing the yeast and extending the fermentation length. Then we put a very thin, vanilla sugar glaze all over the doughnut. By encasing the entire doughnut it stays fresh longer. Finally we garnish it with a generous amount of bittersweet ganache. The deeply flavored real chocolate ganache (not the typical waxy brown covered icing that is so common) has a slight bitterness that is a great contrast to the sweet vanilla glaze. Put this all together and it makes for a terrific Sunday tradition.

Writing this piece this week seemed the right thing to do to help as many people as possible get in the mood for National Doughnut Day on June 3. It was started in 1938 as a way to honor the community work of the “Lassies of the Salvation Army” who sailed to France to serve doughnuts to American soldiers during WWI. If you want to make sure you get some, order ahead and we’ll hold them for you! And if you want a little life advice to accompany your bit of sweet chocolatey doughnut deliciousness, here’s a little poetry from Margaret Atwood, who, like Amy, hails from Canada:

As you ramble on through life, Brother,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.


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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