Zingerman’s, 37 years down the road, has become well known for many things! This past summer, the line for the Deli’s Reuben pop-up in Chicago was something like two blocks long! The marvelous job everyone at Mail Order has done for so many years now has made our catalog THE go-to spot for food-focused gift-givers and shoppers for artisan offerings all over the country. The Bakehouse’s breads, baked goods, classes at BAKE!, and cookbook have gained lots of well-deserved national attention. ZingTrain’s training seminars, our coffee, candy bars, fried chicken and ribs at the Roadhouse, and Cornman Farms is winning awards as a wedding venue.
And yet, for all the attention we get, we also have some that are relatively secret: Miss Kim’s compelling regional Korean cooking, and also our Food Tours (one regular just smilingly railed at me recently because she “had to fly to Florida to hear about the Food Tours from her friend!”).
Another of those little “secrets” is that Zingerman’s Creamery is one of the longest-standing cheesemakers in the county, celebrating nearly 20 years of delicious cheese & gelato-making! And that we have this very cute, easy to access little cheese shop right at the source where you can see the cheese and gelato being made, buy lunch, snacks, a scoop of gelato, wine, beer, and even a few books. There are currently only 740 Certified Cheese Professionals in the world, and the Creamery’s very own Tessie Ives-Wilson is one of them! Even if you already knew about the great handmade cream cheese, goat cheese, or gelato from the Creamery, there are a bunch of other things you might not yet know about them. Here are five fun things to share:
- We make cheese platters for parties. While the Deli and Roadhouse are happily well known for their catering work, it’s still a bit of a behind-the-scenes scoop that the Creamery makes notable cheese trays with an assortment of fresh and aged cheese, really good dried fruit, and nuts. They’ll teach you the pro’s tips, too!
- We host private parties. If you have a group of 10, 20, or even 30, we’ve got a really great little spot to host you all for a private cheese and wine tasting, mozzarella making class, or all sorts of other creative ways to connect around fine culinary activity! If you’ve got out-of-towners coming in, why not showcase the county’s local cheese at the source? Plenty of parking too!
- We serve lunch. That’s right. The Cream Top Shop at the Creamery has about 18 excellent offerings for lunch every day. Delicious grilled cheese (made with Creamery cheeses, of course); steamed potatoes with Creamery cheese; and hot, melty Raclette; little snackboards-to-go called “munchables” (terrific to take to the airport or train station for travel); lovely green salads, and of course there’s made-on-site gelato for dessert too!
- We sell sparkling wine. A great way to make your significant others’ evening is to bring home a bottle of bubbly! Don’t wait for a special occasion. I’d argue that some unexpected sparkling wine on an average Wednesday evening might just mean more than it does on New Year’s Eve! As the weather gets warmer it’s also one of the Creamery staff’s favorite treats to float some of their spectacular sorbets in the glass for a cool treat. And if sparkling wine is not your thing, we do have a great selection of bottled craft beers too. And not everything in bottles at the Creamery has bubbles—we’ve got a really nice, small but significant selection of artisan wines and local beer.
- We teach a ton of classes. The Creamery is following in the bold and beautiful footsteps of its neighbors at BAKE! Each week classes are growing in number and in popularity. Tasting classes on wine, cheese, and pairings, hands-on cheese-making classes, production tours… all sorts of fun and tasty things.
In Europe, almost every town has (or at least had) a local cheese! That and the local bakery are a lot of what gave a village its identity. I think the same is true here—we have our village bakery, creamery, and a cool café all on one block over on Plaza Drive, at what we’ve long been calling Zingerman’s Southside. Come on by the Cream Top Shop, visit the Creamery, and eat some really great local cheese at the source! It’s perfect for when you are looking for things to do in Ann Arbor!