Argus Farm Stop
Argus Farm Stop is a year-round, seven days a week farmers market and café. Developed as a compliment to famers markets, if features produce, dairy, meat, and other locally prepared foods and goods sourced from a network of more than local farmers and producers who receive 70 cents of every dollar of sales. In 2019, its café expanded to include Michigan draft beer, cider, and wine. And as COVID shuttered local farmers markets, Argus launched produce boxes, curated weekly for delivery or curbside pickup. Argus currently has two locations in Ann Arbor, as well an online ordering platform. Argus has offered Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program since 2017, doubling shoppers’ SNAP dollars spent on produce. It also provides produce boxes to low-income households in the area using grants and programs . While its core business is connecting local farmers to local consumers, its owners and staff are passionate advocates who regularly consult other businesses interested in replicating its innovative “Argus Model.”
Financing Purpose & Date:
This 2022 investment is supporting Argus in opening a third location that will consolidate its grocery services in a building with more space, larger aisles, and a dedicated area to process orders and its produce boxes. The current location is at capacity for online orders and produce box fulfillment. Both programs were started in the pandemic and need to address efficiency and operational challenges. This expansion will also allow Argus to reconfigure one of its existing locations to provide an expanded café and tavern space with prepared foods and drinks, additional seating, and room for pop-ups and other community events.
Argus’s innovative model has already paid out more than $10 million to area farmers since its 2014 launch. It has also led farmers to extend their growing season into winter months given the dedicated sales channel it provides. This expansion will further boost its capacity as a crucial link where local farms can sell locally-grown produce and other goods conveniently to consumers, year-round.