If you haven't met Ari Weinzweig, you're missing out. Not only is he the founder of Zingerman's and a thought leader in the food world, but he is a wonderful human being and the creator of a very special company with strong values and principles. My mom and I spent some time this past weekend visiting him at the Zingerman's new Roadhouse restaurant.
Here are a few things I have been taught by Ari:
1 - Start with your vision and share it with others.
It's critical to have a vision and mission for your business and to share it with your partners and your team. People want to work for something greater, and you can see this at Zingerman's. They aren't just selling specialty food. They are educators and thought leaders who are trying to make a difference.
2 - Teach your customers and treat them with kindness
The service level at Zingerman's is hard to describe, but let's just say, if you ask a question or have a problem, people are running around to make sure it's solved. If you want to test a product, it will be in your hand in seconds. If you need a special gift, they'll give you great suggestions. And it's authentic. The team is committed to making sure you have a great time when you're there.
3 - Engage in your business and be present day to day
You'll see a photo here of a Saturday night at Zingerman's Roadhouse. Ari is standing with the other founder of Zingerman's, Paul Saginaw, to help serve meals to customers. This engagement 25 years after the founding of their business is admirable. (You'll also see a photo of my mom and I with the menu - yum!)
4 - Mentor others.
Ari has helped me with sweetriot since its inception and this is the sign of a great leader. Not only does he care about his business, but he also supports others and their vision. Thanks, Ari!
Have you met Ari and/or is there someone you admire? Would love to hear your stories too!