Zingerman's Bakehouse 25 Years

Baking people happy for 25 years.

Our bakery opened 9/13/92.
In September, we’re celebrating all month long!

A note from Frank and Amy

A good deal of time has passed since we baked our first loaves back in September of 1992. Many things have changed in those years but a few remain the same. First and foremost, is that we still save dough from today to provide the flavor and energy for the loaves we’ll bake tomorrow. It has now been more than 9,100 consecutive nights that we’ve ‘fed our starter’ so that we can make bread for all of our customers the following day. While this is only a statistic, it’s one that connects us directly to our bread baking tradition that dates back more than 8,000 years. We’ve always felt like we were stewards of that incredible tradition and for that we’ve always been thankful.

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In 1992, after Frank’s first day of baking with Michael London (whose recipes we used originally and who provided us with a good baking foundation), he walked Frank outside and said that someday he hoped to ‘Create bread that would rise with the power of the rising sun.’ Frank had only had a couple of hours of sleep the night before because he was so anxious and excited to begin his baking training at 2 AM. In his state of fatigue, this statement kind of startled Frank. Michael was (and still is) quite spiritual and passionate about baking.

We grew to love Michael’s image of baking, but what has always driven us was the thought that we could make bread that would rise with our gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful force. After 25 years there are so many things to be thankful for.

First, for the unwavering support of our first customer Zingerman’s Delicatessen. Without their commitment to great food and relentless promotion from the start, we couldn’t have gotten our breads into the mouths of so many people.

Next, thank you to our community. We feel so fortunate to be bakers in our wonderful city of Ann Arbor. We’re honored to have our food be a part of your life in a small way. Your stories and connections have inspired us to continue traveling and learning about new baking traditions.

Then, thank you to the nearly 1,000 people who have worked at the Bakehouse over the years. There were just 8 of us when we started. While we didn’t know exactly what we were in for we were enthusiastic and committed to do something great. Without that continued energy and drive for greatness we could never have made all the wonderful bread, pastries, and cakes, soups, sandwiches, deliveries, and on. We now number 150 people who come to work each day and contribute to our success in so many ways. Thanks to all of you.

Finally to our partners of the Bakehouse Paul and Ari, without whose support, guidance, and help we couldn’t have gotten going and thrived for this many years.

In celebration of this quarter century we decided to write a cookbook. It includes our favorite recipes, our reflections on baking and business and some lighthearted stories. We hope you enjoy it.

And now we’re really looking forward to the adventures of the next 25 years!

Frank and Amy (sometimes known as Frankenamy)
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25th Anniversary Specials

Country Miche

Taste what’s new!

Multi-grain Country Miche
Made with a multi-grain mix of Michigan stone-ground wheat, rye flour, whole buckwheat, and spelt flour, all naturally leavened by its own unique starter. It’s baked to a dark caramelized crust giving it natural sweetness and extra flavor. Ask us for a taste!

Available all month in September.

Champagne Strawberry Cupcakes

A toast to 25 years!

Champagne & Strawberry Stuffed Cupcakes
Vanilla chiffon cupcakes stuffed with fresh strawberries and strawberry jam, covered in champagne buttercream.

September only.

Babka

Taste what’s new!

Babka
We start with a rich buttery brioche dough, paint it with dark chocolate, sprinkle it with chocolate crumble and orange syrup soaked raisins, twist it up, and carefully place that work of art in the pan. The loaf is baked to a golden brown with a fragrant cinnamon sugar top. You really can taste the difference!

Available all month in September.

One Day Specials—Cranberry Pecan, Tote Bag

One day only! 9/13

Bakehouse specials on Wednesday, September 13th.

  • Free pecan raisin loaf with any purchase to the first 25 customers.
  • Free Bakehouse anniversary tote bag with any purchase to the last 25 customers.
  • Other tasty secrets and fun surprises all day long!

Only available at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, 3711 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor.

“Future Bakers” Class & Fundraiser

Sunday, September 17th, 2017, 10am—12pm, $50

A special event for kids, ages 7 to 10 only.

Let’s inspire a new generation of bakers with this one time class at BAKE!, our hands-on teaching bakery. We’ll give them a glimpse into life as a baker when they make a pineapple upside cake from scratch and then tour our bakery to see the professionals at work. A parent or adult is welcome to stay and enjoy their own private tour of the bakery and a conversation on careers in food with co-owner Amy Emberling , as well as complimentary coffee and a snack. You are also welcome to skip this portion and simply drop off the child and pick them up after class.

Don’t delay, this event will sell out fast! Space is limited to 2 sessions, 12 kids in each.

All proceeds benefit Schoolcraft College Foundation scholarships. Many Zingerman’s Bakehouse staff are Schoolcraft College culinary program graduates.

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Photo Album

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Share a memory of the Bakehouse!

  1. My favorite memory of the Bakehouse is the day that I discovered that breadbaking classes were being offered. I was in town for only a few days to check on my house. I stopped for lunch at Zingerman’s Deli and grabbed a pamphlet listing baking classes that was hanging next to my table to peruse as I enjoyed my sandwich. I had wanted to learn how to bake good bread since I was elementary school age, too many decades before that fateful day. I was delighted and registered for the first class that was available as soon as I was back in Ann Arbor to stay.

  2. I had not tasted much Zingerman’s food before I was hired at the Bakehouse almost 9 years ago. I have come to love the food, the folks and the way we do business so much you would have to drag me out! Thanks to everyone who has made my time here so much fun; I mean customers as well as Staff! You are all part of my family now.

  3. You are simply the best. Your passion, your product, your sharing. We have enjoyed mail order for years and years, and have also journeyed to AA to enjoy all of the Zingerman’s little company of businesses….including taking many classes with your excellent teachers. We bake bread and many, many other baked goods, inspired by your classes. And we still mail order (-: Can’t wait for Frank & Amy’s Favorites class coming up in October. Thank you, Zingerman’s for always inspiring us to be our best….because you show your best each and every day in all that you do—-production, service, products. In gratitude, Robin Kline & Bill Summers, Des Moines, IA

  4. What a great photo book!
    I really enjoyed perusing the photos and look forward to those yummy Septmeber Specials.
    Congratulations on the Bakehouse Anniversary

  5. I remember when we discovered Zingerman’s at Eastern Market in Detroit. My husband fell in love with the pecan raisin bread. Since then, we visited the deli and the plaza area. We’ve also done mail order.

  6. My favorite bread back then was Sesame Semolina, my favorite now is still Sesame Semolina. thank you for featuring it in the Bread of the Month as often as you do! Pretzel class was a life changer for me and my husband, as he gets to eat them as often as I make them. Such a crowd pleaser. Here’s to another 25 years!!

  7. Thanks to Angie, whom I met at my first BAKE class. Every time I visited the Bakehouse, she was so upbeat and friendly – like we’d been close friends for years. It’s that spirit that you engender in your employees – as well as the tasty products! – that keeps me visiting and eating. Congratulations on your success!

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