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BGBS 009: Ari Weinzweig | Zingerman’s | Manifesting a Shared Vision of Anarchy, Philosophy, Beliefs, Pastrami, and Social Good

00:00 / 01:06:46


We all have our own thoughts, beliefs, and problems. But it’s how we handle them that makes a difference in the world. Everyone should be able to pursue the life of their dreams. And, everyone should be treated as an intelligent, creative human being. It’s about having respect for one another. That’s how Ari Weinzweig turned Zingerman’s into a $70-million-dollar, socially conscious business community.

You’ll Learn…

  • As a child, Ari wasn’t thinking about food and business; he was dealing with his parents’ divorce and remarriages
  • Moved from Chicago to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan and study Russian history focused on the anarchists
  • Started as a dishwasher and almost 40 years later is still working with some of the same people who have the same vision and have come to love each other
  • Make choices about partnerships, problems, and positives; communicate constructively to resolve conflict
  • Learning that most of the world does not function through love and understanding, despite what you were told or shown as a child  
  • Beliefs are not genetic, but learned; all of us have beliefs and take action based on them; when you change what you believe, you see things differently
  • Break Beliefs: Acknowledge that an issue exists, identify your belief and where it came from, and decide whether you want to change it or not
  • Studied anarchy because of his fascination with real people’s stories regarding freedom and free thinking – a positive belief in human beings
  • Understand imperfection is normal and natural; minimize problems and outweigh them through positivity
  • People thought he was going to fail when he opened the business, which is true of any meaningful work; such fear and concern has never left him
  • Customers want to feel good and be treated well, so Zingerman’s makes food fun and creates an experience by knowing its strengths and weaknesses
  • Enjoy life, work hard, and share what you have with those who don’t
  • Free Choice: Choosing not to go is different than not being allowed to go


Zingerman’s Community of Business

Books by Ari Weinzweig

Ari Weinzweig’s Articles in The Atlantic

12 laws of building a great company from one of America’s most innovative small-business owners

Ari Weinzweig: The 12 Natural Laws of Business

Zingerman’s Deli

Zing Train

Transformed by Judith and Bob Wright

Jo Labadie

Carne Ross

Gustav Landauer

Monahan’s Seafood Market

Arthur C. Clarke













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