A Community Business Model

A Community Business Model

A Community Business Model

By John Jantsch

zingermansFor a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I had an opportunity to learn about a truly unique business located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My guests, Ari and Mo, are principles in a business known as Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Zingerman’s started out as a deli that grew so popular franchising nationwide seemed inevitable. However, the owners determined another path.

Instead of growing the deli business beyond where they wanted to go, they started others businesses around their single store. Mail order, catering and coffee roasting just to name a few. But, the uniqueness of the model is that all the businesses were started by managing partners who have a share of the ownership in the business – thus the community moniker. Anyone is free to come to Zingerman’s with an idea for a business and pitch it as a candidate to join the community. Several of the existing businesses were launched by Zingerman’s employees.

The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) is a family of businesses all located in the Ann Arbor area. Each business is operated by one or more managing partners who share ownership and put their particular expertise to work in the day to day running of their business.

Have a listen to Ari and Mo describe this wonderfully unique business model – and have look at the mail order catalog for some wonderfully unique items – chocolate covered bacon anyone?

AT&TThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is brought to you by att.com/onwardsmallbiz. Resources for the small business owner.

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