Championing local farmers with Argus Farm Stop
Argus Farm Stop is the farmers’ farmers market’s market—and much more. With an investment from Fair Food Fund, that “more” means expanding to ensure critical sales channels for local farmers.
Argus co-owners and spouses Kathy Sample and Bill Brinkerhoff started Argus with a desire to help small, local farms succeed. In 2014, they launched as a one-stop shop where farms can sell locally grown goods to consumers all year long. In its model, farmers own the produce, set the price, and keep 70 percent of every sale. Since 2014, Argus has already paid out $10 million to a network of 200 local farmers. Argus also offers our Double Up Food Bucks program, supporting affordability alongside access.
As the pandemic spurred disruptions for local farmers and farmers markets, Argus stepped up to fill the void, launching two new business lines, including a produce box delivery service and online ordering.
To sustain this growth, Sample and Brinkerhoff realized they needed to expand. Given our long-standing collaboration, they turned to Fair Food Network and our Fund.
With Argus’ foundational commitment to local farmers and healthy food access, it was an unquestionable mission match.
The investment allowed Argus to consolidate its retail grocery, produce box, and online ordering operations at a new location. They also reconfigured the other two locations, refocusing one to feature an expanded café with prepared foods and tavern options. Structuring the investment as a convertible note enabled Argus runway to secure the new location and give all sites time to optimize before principal payback begins.
“We’ve worked with Fair Food Network for years with Double Up and other food access initiatives,” says Sample. “Now, we have the opportunity to work with the Fair Food Fund. We have found the process and people to be excellent to collaborate with.”
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