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Shopping the Farm Stop

There is an abundance of local food in Washtenaw County, even in the winter. In addition to several active farmers markets throughout the winter (Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Saline, Ypsilanti), there are now three farm stop style stores open year-round. 

Farm stops exist to improve small farm viability and increase access to healthy, local food. Most farm stops are run on a consignment model where farms and producers own their product through the entire sale and select their own pricing. This results in farmers and producers receiving a higher percentage of the selling price (typically 70-75%) than other retail settings (typically 13-15%). To cover operating costs and to ensure products sales go directly to farmers, most farm stops have a coffee bar or even serve alcohol. 

Farmers and producers love the farm stop model. In addition to a steady and consistent income stream, the farm stop model reduces the time, stress and risk of direct consumer sales. Consumers also reap many benefits. Farm stops are convenient as they have longer open hours than traditional farmers markets and have a wide variety of products (produce, meat, bread, dairy, baked goods, jams, syrup, granola and more!). Plus, all three Washtenaw County farm stops have cafes which serve as gathering spaces for a more vibrant community.

Acorn Farmers Market

327 W. Main, Manchester, MI 48158
Th, Fr 3-7 PM, Sat 9 AM – 1 PM

Last year, Manchester lost its only grocery store. In response, a group of community members organized to form Acorn Farmers Market. The market is currently operating as an indoor farmers market Thursday – Saturdays and will open up as a full retail store with local meat, dairy, produce and prepared foods in the spring or summer. They plan to offer cooking classes and other educational opportunities to the community. 

COVID-19 Update: Acorn Farmers Market is closed for the near future along with the Manchester Farmers market. Stay up to date here.

Agricole Farm Stop

118 N Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118
M-F 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM,  Sat/Sun 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Opened in 2019, Agricole’s wide range of products make it possible to shop local every day of the week. Their gathering space and cafe creates the opportunity for folks to meet and connect, either intentionally or by chance. Since they opened last spring, Agricole has paid out over $337,682 back to farmers and artisans in the local community.

COVID-19 Update: Agricole offers curbside-pickup to keep you safe during this time. Check out their online catlog and place your order here.

Argus Farm Stop

325 W Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI  48103
1200 Packard Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
M-F 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM,  Sat/Sun 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Argus Farm Stop offers convenient, year-round local food shopping, a unique cafe experience, and on-tap local beer and cider. Their on-site Registered Dietitian provides a variety of classes and local producers host tastings almost every week. They also operate a food hub that aggregates local food to make it convenient for chefs, caterers, day care centers, and other groups to purchase larger volumes with easy payment and pickup options. Since Argus opened in 2014, they have paid out over $5 million to local producers.

Covid-19 Update: Argus Farm Stop on Packard is closed for retail shopping, but open for online orders. Argus on Liberty is open for retail shopping. See the details and place your order for pick-up here.

Kelly Wilson, RDN, is the Director of Community Partners for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at kelly@localdifference.org

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