ZingLife

Goodbye Deli; Hello Bakehouse

Maddie takes a step forward

This week marks a momentous occasion for me, one that brings with it both excitement and sadness. This week, I will be leaving Zingerman’s deli after more than four years to pursue pastry baking at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. I know its clichĂ© to say, but I can’t believe four years went by so fast.

I started at the deli at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, young, curious, and wildly excited to be a part of the Zingerman’s community. Since that first day, I have been given more opportunities than my wide-eyed 20-year old self could ever have imagined. I blogged, I tasted magical wheels of cheese like Comté and Bayley Hazen Blue, and I served Aziz Ansari a sample of cheese. I made friends who have now become best friends. I participated in Zingerman’s-wide panel discussions. I learned how to professionally taste and assess food. I attended tastings hosted by world-class artisan food producers. I ate more #73 sandwiches than I could have ever thought humanly possible. I wrote schedules, managed shifts, took days worth of sandwich orders, and met the love of my life. I think the only thing I didn’t get to do was meet President Obama (I had the day off!).

In light of this impending move, I’ve been doing a good bit of reflection on my time at the deli and attempting to grasp just how much it has influenced my life. I’m reminded of a quote from The Office, possibly my favorite TV show of all time. In the series finale, one of the main characters, Andy, says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” Andy, you hit the nail on the head. The past four years at the deli were my “good old days,” and the reality of my leaving is very hard to grasp. That little deli on the corner of Kingsley and Detroit St. became my second home and the people in it, my second family. Although, I will still be a part of the Zingerman’s community of businesses, the deli will forever hold a special sandwich-shaped spot in my heart. To all of my managers, supervisors, friends, customers, regulars, mentors, and everyone else in between, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, your enthusiasm, your inspiration, your advice, and your love. These truly have been the best four years of my life.

In the midst of this big change are some very sweet things, specifically scones, cookies, brownies, pies, and cakes. Ever since I was a toddler, I have had a particular affinity for dessert and sweet things in general—my prerequisite question before a meal was “is it sweet?” So I couldn’t be more thrilled that I will be able to translate this deep love into my new work life at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. During the next two months, I will be helping prepare a smorgasbord of holiday treats, rolling rugelach, scooping cookies, shaping scones, crimping pie crusts, and so much more. And I’ll still be writing every step of the way, so stay tuned for all the buttery details!

– Maddie

Maddie Goodbye Deli