Susan was born and raised in the metro Detroit area. After earning a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles at MSU, she began a lifelong love of cooking, travel, and new food discoveries. Early food memories from both sides of the family were the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of great food, including pies and birthday cakes made for her by her maternal grandmother and the annual visits to her paternal grandmother in California, where she "helped" at the family's grocery store. Susan attended Schoolcraft College of Culinary Arts, where she earned a certificate in baking and pastry in 2007. She first joined Zingerman's Bakehouse during the 2008 holiday season in the pastry kitchen where she learned production baking. She found her way to teaching in 2012, and happily returned to Zingerman's Bakehouse in 2015. Susan is passionate about baking and sharing knowledge.
Nikki was born and raised right here in Ann Arbor. She worked toward a degree in Elementary Education for a few years, but later decided to go to culinary school. She has loved cooking and baking her whole life and is always watching The Food Network. Nikki graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona in 2004. She has since worked at the New Orleans Convention Center, Paesano's restaurant in Ann Arbor, Main Street IX in Milan, and as Pastry Chef for both the University of Toledo and Eastern Michigan University. Her most favorite thing to bake at home is cheesecake and she thinks hers is darn good. When we saw Nikki wearing a pair of earrings shaped like a kitchen mixer, we knew she was in the right place.
Keith grew up on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula’s city of Marquette, where he has fond memories of cooking and baking with his mother. He credits the particularly meaningful experience of preparing food for homebound persons together as inspiring his desire to become a chef. Shortly after graduating high school, he moved to Ann Arbor and attended culinary school at Washtenaw Community College. Since then he has worked as a chef and pastry chef at restaurants throughout the region including The Earle, Black Pearl, and Bacco Ristorante in Southfield, MI and he helped start the pastry department at Sava’s Restaurant and Babo Market in Ann Arbor. He has done lots of teaching in the restaurant industry and is excited to be teaching in the public realm for the first time at BAKE!
BAKE! Ingredient Manager
Hannah hails from the much warmer Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing before joining the team at BAKE! as our Ingredient Manager. She loves assisting guests and witnessing the moment they go from saying, “There’s no way I can make that,” to, “I can’t believe how easy it was to make that!” When she’s not in the BAKE! kitchens, she spends a lot of her free time in her own kitchen—baking, cooking, and trying new foods. She also can often be found lost in a good book or collecting pretty rocks.
Jen was born and raised in Granville, OH, a tiny town just east of Columbus. She grew up with a mom who was a very proficient cook, baker, and host and has early memories cooking in the kitchen with her. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and, while working on her Masters in Physiology at Miami University, did lots of waiting tables—which is an education in and of itself! Jen is a teacher at her core and has taught bread-making to friends, yoga, knitting, and even homeschooled her kids. When she’s not in the classroom at BAKE! she likes to spend time with her pitbull rescue, Ypsigirl (who is both well-trained and poorly behaved, depending on her mood) and busting out yoga poses for entertainment purposes as a former tri-state yoga asana champion.
Miladel was born and raised in Metro Detroit. She credits her mother’s fine cooking as inspiring her love of food, which has permeated her life since an early age. As a kid, she fantasized about running a Dungeons & Dragons tavern, planning out every detail down to food menus and pricing. Later, after moving to Chicago, she worked as an architectural model designer while concurrently earning a culinary arts degree. She then spent the next 25 years working as a cook and chef at various restaurants, hotels, and venues in the Chicago area. In 2019, she relocated back to Michigan and began working in the pastry kitchen at the Bakehouse before moving over to BAKE! to work as an assistant. Miladel appreciates the many growth and learning opportunities she experiences as a part of the Zingerman’s Bakehouse team.
Amelia was raised in Detroit’s Downriver area and has many food-related core memories from her childhood, from spending time at her grandmother’s house that always smelled like stuffed cabbage (no matter what she was making) to spending summers “up north” with her family, eating lots of Mooney’s Ice Cream. After working in the Bakehouse’s pastry kitchen for a holiday season she was hired permanently but pursued and earned a degree in veterinary technology on the side. Amelia then worked in the veterinary field but found she missed the food and culture at Zingerman’s so much that she jumped at the opportunity to be a BAKE! assistant when a position opened up.
Amy has baking in her blood. The granddaughter of a German baker, she was born in Chicago, IL. She did some hopping around—relocating to Ann Arbor at the age of 4 and to Alaska during the 90’s, where she discovered her love of home baking—before resettling in Ann Arbor in 1998 and starting at the Bakehouse. She worked in our bread department, at the bench, then at the oven, and finally as a mixer and then switched to BAKE! to work as an assistant. When she’s not helping students roll out perfect baguettes in the classroom, she enjoys reading cookbooks in her leisure time.
Managing Partner, Zingerman's Bakehouse
Amy Emberling is a Managing Partner at Zingerman's Bakehouse. She has been an avid food lover and baker since her childhood in Nova Scotia, Canada. After high school, Amy moved to Cambridge, MA, and received her bachelor's degree from Harvard College. She then followed her passion for food and learned to cook and bake at L'ecole de Gastronomie Francaise at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France as well as in Michigan restaurants. In 1999 she received her MBA from Columbia University.
Amy came to Zingerman's Bakehouse when it opened in 1992 as one of the original bakers on the staff of eight. She soon became the first manager of the bread department, then the manager of the pastry department and in 2000 she became a partner.
Amy has been working in the food world for over 30 years and is passionate about hands-on baking, teaching about baking and business, and supporting people in growing and developing. A few of the Bakehouse items she is personally responsible for developing are the Old School Apple Pie, Buenos Aires Brownies, and our Gingerbread Coffee Cake. In addition to developing items, Amy is a promoter of classic bakery favorites from many cultures and has brought traditional standards to the Bakehouse such as Dobos Torta, Moroccan Harira Soup, and Palmiers.