Forbes is starting a series on food businesses that are unique to a specific area (hometown) and why they are satisfied in staying where they are (holdout).
Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI is one of those Hometown Holdouts….though started as a corner deli….it has branched out into other areas….yet staying local in Ann Arbor.
From the Forbes article:
Hometown Holdouts have drawn the line at becoming the next Nobu or Shake Shack, available in almost every major world city. Why are they reluctant to grow too big:
Family. Many want to keep things under control, for personal reasons, like the ability to spend time with their kids and spouses — and involve them in the business.
Manageability. Not everyone has what it takes to oversee an empire. Hometown Holdouts want their places to be a manageable size, especially now that it’s gotten hard to find qualified cooks and wait staff.
Quality. These eagle-eyed proprietors are constantly monitoring the quality of everything they serve, with the ingredients often coming from purveyors whom they’ve helped get on their feet.
Community. Hometown Holdouts are a key part of their communities, benefiting from their customers’ loyalty and giving back to the places where they’ve put down roots. Many of these entrepreneurs aren’t from the places they’re based, but they found cities that they wanted to call home.
Visibility. In another time, Hometown Holdouts would be known primarily in their locations. But the Web, television, radio and social media, as well as the explosion in food related travel, allow people to find them.