Zou Zou’s Café | 101 Main Street Chelsea, MI 48118 | 734.433.4226

Provided By D&B Strategic Marketing

Zou Zou’s Celebrating 21 Years on the Corner of Middle and Main! May 2, 2019

Celebrate from 4-PM to 9-PM with Champagne and Cake!

Marie-Ann Fody’s adventure began in Lyon, France where she was born the daughter of an American GI and a young French girl. Her family moved to Detroit where she grew up surrounded by the history of WWII. The love of France has been an ever-present influence in her life, listening to the musical sounds and styles that spanned generations.

Marie-Ann decided to open a café in 1998 with the help of her sister, a wonderful ceramic artist with Pewabic Pottery. Marie-Ann envisioned a little neighborhood café in “MY neighborhood” like those that populate so many small towns across America and the streets of France. She always loved baking and cooking, making a family meal of Swiss Steak at the age of 12 on a gas stove.

Zou Zou’s Café was named after a friend of Marie-Ann’s mom, her pictures grace the café walls where you will also see photographs of Marie-Ann’s Grandfather and his racing buddy.  Her Grandfather was a tailor by trade, but his passion was cycling and many of his bikes currently reside at the Fody’s home in France. Marie-Ann shared a vivid memory of her Grandfather, “From the perspective of a small American child, a kid from Detroit, this strange old man would put his bike up on a table on the apartment terrace, and he would wipe every single spoke in a very slow methodical way after every ride. He continued to ride well into his 80’s. How serendipitous that Zou Zou’s quickly became a midway stop for rest and refreshments for the many cyclist that ride the beautiful roads of Washtenaw County.  He would love that!”  

As part of Zou Zou’s expansion in 2017, craft beer and wine were added to the menu creating a true European café experience.  It is a family environment, parents enjoy a glass of wine or beer and conversation while kids have ice cream, play a video game or join in the conversation.  Marie-Ann shared, “I love when the dining room is filled with conversations, friends getting together.  This was what Zou Zou’s was meant to be.”

The expanded Zou Zou’s started with a small selection of great French wines not found in a grocery store and now include interesting wines from California as well as fun wines in a can. The beer selection is unique. With only 13 taps the focus is on introducing beers from all over the World; including a Japanese Lager on tap.  

And Zou Zou’s has live MUSIC… Wednesday through Saturday.  “I actually had music at the Zou at the very beginning of my adventure back in 1998, but the small space and noise level did not do justice or give the respect that I felt the musicians deserved.  I have a commitment to the music that I see developing in Chelsea, it started with those local musical visionaries that built the Sounds and Sights event.  I say let’s be the small town with a big sound!” shared Marie-Ann. Zou Zou’s is gaining a reputation as a place where traveling musical acts can perform a special show on a Monday or Tuesday night and people can come to enjoy Thursday open mic night, recently a great duo from Nashville stopped in to play. Zou Zou’s website showcases the full schedule of upcoming musicians.

In closing, Marie-Ann wistfully shared “sometimes I stop and really think about the kids that have grown up here and have only known Chelsea with Zou Zou’s on the corner.  People tell me that on their way to work in the dark, they see the lights on and the steam in the windows and it makes them smile and it’s comforting.  I appreciate the support and dedication from my family, friends and staff. We were relative new comers in 1998 and I am so happy to see that Zou Zou’s has become such an important part of the community that is Chelsea.”