Argus Farm Stop: Can a Low-Profit LLC be Scaled to Save the Family Farm?

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: May 2, 2019
Length: 24 pages
Product ID#: 1-543-605

Core Disciplines: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Social Impact, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Argus Farm Stop is a year-round farmers market store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The owners launched the business with a mission to improve support for local farmers and offer the community better access to locally-produced food. The Argus model is a consignment arrangement so that farmers and other local producers can sell more directly to customers and retain more of the profit. However, though growing in revenue and having opened a second store location, Argus is not profitable. How can this business be scaled while still adhering to its mission?

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand how a company can modify its business model to best align with its mission and achieve its goals.
  • Examine the local food movement and consider how it is impacting or changing the traditional business model.
  • Extrapolate learnings from Argus Farm Stop and apply them to other industries and business models.
  • Debate whether a business that does not conform to traditional business metrics can be successful in the long term.