I walk into the shop and I’m immediately overwhelmed, but in all the best ways.

To my left is a bulging glass serving counter, lined with cheeses I’ve never even heard of. In front of me is an identical counter, but this one holds meats—jerky and sausages and whatnot. And to my immediate right, a wall of bread, in front of which someone is cutting fresh bread for samples. Um, yes please. Don’t mind if I do.

The colors of this shop—sorry, delicatessen—are bold and vibrant, and I feel as if I’ve walked into Dr. Suess’s favorite lunch spot. The floor is a tiny black-and-white tile. The hallway leads to the sandwich counter and plenty of jams, jellies, salsas, honeys, and beautiful made-in-Michigan paraphernalia. Doesn’t get much better than that. I wind my way through and find the coffeeshop. After all, that’s why I came.

At the time, I was working in a small café where we brewed Zingerman’s coffee. Zingerman’s coffee is roasted right here in Michigan, and supplies cafés and shops all around the country with its unique blends. It was while working in this shop I learned to drink brewed coffee (and actually like it). And when I wasn’t slinging coffee, I was working on my first major freelance writing project; this Zingerman’s-powered coffeeshop paid my bills while I launched a writing career.

So when I found myself near Ann Arbor for one of my first writing business trip (okay, jaunt), I thought I’d make the pilgrimage to Zingerman’s to pay my respects.

I don’t work at that coffeeshop anymore, now that my writing career is out of the incubator stage and taking some courageous, albeit wobbly, steps. But when I see a Proudly Serving Zingerman’s Coffee sign like the one I used to set out every morning, I have to stop for a cup of Roadhouse Joe.

Don’t mind if I do.


Monday Mugs is where I tell the stories behind my coffee mugs. Each one holds a story (and coffee, of course) of somewhere I’ve been or something I’ve seen. The photos are my actual mugs, not lookalikes found online. So grab one of your own mugs (fill it with coffee first) and hear the stories of mine. And don’t forget the cream and sugar.

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