Food, ZingLife

One Year in Deli Retail: A Reflection

The Retail Life—Zingerman’s Style


My one-year anniversary in Zingerman’s retail came around earlier this month and, looking back, it has been quite the jam-packed year. Starting with the madness of graduation crowds last May, then Farmer’s market weekends over the summer, countless football Saturdays in the fall, extravagant Christmas shopping weeks throughout December, epically slow days during the polar vortex, and now, finally, a lovely, flower-filled spring. This year truly flew by!

In order to regain my bearings and gain a sense of closure on my first year of adult working life, I thought I’d take a minute to look back on my time in retail so far. Given my obsessive love of lists, a top ten countdown seemed like a fitting medium for such reflection. So, for all you curious folks out there wondering what the ins and outs of retail life at Zingerman’s really look like, I present to you…

“Ten Signs That You’ve Worked in the Zingerman’s Retail Department for Over 1 year”

  1. When you look at a wall of olive oils, vinegars, and mustards and immediately start brainstorming vinaigrette recipes.
  2. When you’ve officially become the personal grocery shopper for your family and friends.
  3. When days are no longer divided by breakfast, lunch, and dinner but by cubes of cheddar, brownie bites, and sample sips of olive oil.
  4. When Saturdays and Sundays become the Mondays and Tuesdays of your workweek.
  5. When “taking the office home with you” means cheese scented work shirts and socks/pants/tops/(insert piece of clothing) lodged with breadcrumbs.
  6. When bacon becomes a primary food group in your diet.
  7. When descriptors like “grassy”, “peppery”, “sharp”, “buttery” and “barnyardy” find their way into your daily jargon.
  8. When you can site off bagel flavors and bread delivery schedules like times tables.
  9. When you begin to revere cheese mongers like rock stars.

And finally…

  1. When your co-workers begin to feel like your second family.

Thank you to all of the guests, managers, colleagues, and friends who made this one of the best (and most delicious) years of my life. I’m eager to see what the next chapter brings.

– Maddie