TOPICS > Economy

Patchwork Nation: Small Business Maintains Local Roots in Ann Arbor

BY Anna Shoup and Malcolm Brown  December 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Zingerman’s will celebrate its 28th year in business in Ann Arbor, Mich., a Campus and Careers community in Patchwork Nation. Since opening, the co-founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig have built the business into a community of eight businesses, including a deli, a bakery and a mail order facility, and now employ over 500 workers.

But they didn’t want to expand to other towns outside of Ann Arbor, even if they had a business model that would seem to work quite well in similar communities.

“We grew the business here because we didn’t want to do business anywhere else,” said Saiginaw. “When we started out, what we wanted was, we wanted to have an extraordinary organization and we felt that, that meant that the owners were going to be on the premises and that you were going to stay focused on what you were doing … We never had a desire to uh open up anywhere else.”