Who the Folk?! Zach Sussman

Welcome to “Who the Folk?!” Every week on Monday we feature a new member of the community as our “Person of the Week.” Last week we got to know Zack Chazin. This week meet Zach SussmanKnow someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].

TC Jewfolk: Are you from the Twin Cities?

Zach: Yes, I was born in Linden Hills and grew up in Edina.

TCJ: You’re the marketing director for CRAVE. What’s that like?

Zach: It’s an incredibly challenging and exciting position. When I came to CRAVE nearly 5 years ago, they had just opened at Mall of America, which was the second location. We now have 9 CRAVE locations, and with our newest concept, BoneYard, open in uptown, we’re up to 14 restaurants. It’s been a busy few years, but we’ve had a lot of fun in the process.

TCJ: Are you a “foodie?”

Zach: I love food, but I don’t consider myself a foodie. To me the term “foodie” evokes images of foie gras, foam reductions, and pretentious chef driven restaurants with beautiful presentations that unfortunately leave me hungry for pizza on my way home. My idea of a great meal starts with fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients (organic whenever possible). Add a talented chef who knows how to bring out the natural flavor in every ingredient, and that’s what I love to eat. Keep it simple…don’t try too hard!

TCJ: Are you involved in any other TC organizations?

Zach: One of the things I love most about CRAVE is that it offers me the opportunity to be involved with several non-profit organizations through a program called “CRAVE Cares” that we created in 2010. Through CRAVE Cares, we feature a different non-profit organization each month, and donate a portion of the proceeds from our Specials menu to that organization. We’ve worked with an unbelievable variety of organizations that encompass many issues including children’s Cancer, education, income inequality, arts, public radio, hearing loss prevention, hunger, eating disorders, mental health, and a variety of other causes. We’re passionate about highlighting many different types of organizations and giving them a platform to spread their message and educate our community.

TCJ: If there was a showdown between all the Jewish summer camps, who would you want to win?

Zach: Here’s to dear old Herzl!

TCJ: Who is the coolest Jew?

Zach: My Bubbe and Zayde, Hinda and Leo Kibort, who were both Holocaust survivors. They taught me everything important about life and were incredibly brilliant, fun, optimistic, and inspiring people. By far the coolest people to ever live, Jewish or otherwise.

TCJ: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Cities?

Zach: Spending time outdoors in the summer is the epitome of Minnesota living. I love going to cabins, boating, wake boarding, walking my dog around the lakes, outdoor concerts, or going to Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream…summer almost makes up for the other 9 months of pain. Almost.

TCJ: What else do you do for fun?

Zach: I really enjoy spending time with friends and family. I can have fun doing just about anything as long as I’m with the people I love.

TCJ: How are you coping with this cold? [Editor’s Note: We asked these questions while the weather still WAS cold.]

Zach: Not well. I’ve been looking at property in warm weather climates and day dreaming about what it would be like to burn all of my winter clothes and never look back. Probably not going to happen, but a guy can dream…

TCJ: Give us one more reason why you’re folking awesome!

Zach: I work hard and I play harder. I’m always up for an adventure, and will never grow up no matter how old I get.

Click here to nominate your favorite TC Jew to be featured on our weekly Who the Folk?! series!