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Posted on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Zingerman's training division to expand in 6,400-square-foot space in Pittsfield Township business park

By Lizzy Alfs

Zingerman’s wants to convert a vacant 6,400-square-foot space in the Airport Plaza business park in Pittsfield Township into a permanent training facility for its ZingTrain division, which provides consulting and teaching of Zingerman’s business techniques to clients.

ZingTrain holds two-day business seminars for $995 a person, according to its website. It also develops customized training workshops at rates of $1,500 to $3,000 for 1 to 2 hours, $3,000 to $4,000 for a half day or $5,000 to $6,000 for a full day.

But until now, the seminars and workshops haven't had a permanent — or large enough — space, said Pete Sickman-Garner, a marketing manager for Zingerman’s.

The classes used to be held above Zingerman’s Next Door in Ann Arbor and then moved to the company’s administrative offices in the Airport Plaza business park, located off Airport Road in Pittsfield Township, said Zingerman’s co-founder Paul Saginaw.

In order to expand the ZingTrain division, the company recently leased a 6,400-square-foot space in the same Pittsfield Township business park, and has applied for a conditional use permit to use the building for training and conference purposes.

“That business is growing quite a bit and the managing partners have a desire to expand and offer more seminars,” Saginaw said.

Because five Zingerman’s divisions - the Bakehouse and Bakeshop, Creamery, Coffee Company, Candy Manufactory and Zingerman’s Service Network - are located in the business park, Sickman-Garner said this space made sense for a ZingTrain expansion.

“They’ve been looking for room to grow…it seemed logical to join the rest of us down there and make that space even more vibrant,” he said.

He added: “An important part of our seminars involve showing the attendants our business and the work we’re doing. We always want them to see the deli, but that location has a critical mass of businesses.”

Saginaw said the space will need “extensive” renovations to convert it from a warehouse to conference rooms. The conditional use application calls for 4,495 square feet of business space and 1,905 of training and conference space, with a maximum occupancy of 130 people.

The Pittsfield Township Planning Commission will consider the conditional use permit request from Zingerman’s at its March 1 meeting.

Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the township is in support of the request, but she wants to be sure it won’t create traffic congestion issues in the area.

“We want to make sure they have thought through very carefully issues related to traffic and parking,” she said.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

The only lessons to be learned from Zingerman's: Market to a rich clientele, overcharge your rich customers, and make them feel good about themselves while doing it. They do in their cafe, they do it with this ridiculous training program. There's a sucker born every minute.

David Muzzatti

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

"I highly recommend CEO's take advantage of ZingTrain. Like me, you might find that some of their knowledge & teachings may not apply to all of your business (I'm a union manufacturer) but you'll be a better executive & leader because of it. Say what you want about this organization but Ari & Paul are very humble & very successful."


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

I surely hope that Pittsfield Township does not hindered the growt6h of a thriving company. Best wishes to Zingermans and hope all goes well.

Berda Green

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 7:43 a.m.

THEY HAVE PLENTY OF $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

"We want to make sure they have thought through very carefully issues related to traffic and parking," she said. Because if it's a concern regarding the proposed Islamic Center you'd better be concerned about that in this case as well or you might appear to be Islamaphobic. If this permit is approved then they should also approve the Islamic Center.


Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 3:22 p.m.

wait, I'm confused. are you implying that the people who run Zingerman's are--Muslims?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

minor erratum to my above: although relevant data is on the "jim crow' thread the actual link is on the "sen levin at EMU " thread... sorry for the slight mixup.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

ummmm... what a wonderful world it would be if bagels replaced frequently incendiary religious texts/ teaching ...and yes , go look at the thread on the 'jim crow' issue.. an illuminating and sadly accurate web link is to be found if you're diligent .


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.


Honey Badger Don't Care

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:12 p.m.

I've been to Zingerman's. We LUNCHED on BAGELS!

Buster W.

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

"It also develops customized training workshops at rates of $1,500 to $3,000 for 1 to 2 hours, $3,000 to $4,000 for a half day or $5,000 to $6,000 for a full day." Wait just a it 2012 or 2112?


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

Overcharge your customers - it's the Zingerman's way!


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

It doesn't matter what year it is. They provide great training and if people are willing to pay for it, why does it matter to you?


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Anything zingerman's does is headline news on


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Strange how the Pittsfield Twp Supervisor is concerned about additional traffic here. Nobody will even notice ZingTrain compared to the new Costco, right across the street. You could say "too late now"!

Tony Livingston

Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Same side of the street. In fact, some of those same warehouse buildings were torn down to make way for Costco.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

@applehazar: Not bashing Costco, looking forward to it. Facts are that Costco will be hundreds of vehicles comared to ZingTrain's few tens. Given that, it is too late for Pittsfield to be concerned about traffic.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

When will the Costco bashing stop? Get over it


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

Good luck to Zingerman's. I hope their Corporate Training center is a success.


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

Well this is a given because it is Zingerman's - no questions asked (basically a rubber stamp YES!)


Fri, Feb 24, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

You mean, like when they wanted to tear down a burned out shell of a house and it took 5 years?