This was part of my April 16, 2022 newsletter:
Ward 4 People & Places You Should Know
If you live in the Burns Park neighborhood of Ward 4, you already know about Argus Farm Stop (1200 Packard). This location opened in 2017 and in March of this year expanded into the former vacuum store down the block at 1226 Packard. Argus offers a remarkable opportunity for local residents to access fresh produce from local farmers, 365 days a year. Owners Kathy Sample and Bill Brinkerhoff are committed to two goals: 1) increasing our community’s access to local produce and 2) supporting local farmers by providing a convenient outlet for sales that pays the farmers 70% of the price of the products. (The traditional grocery model pays farmers 15%.)
I first collaborated with Argus Farm Stop in 2019, when Kathy and Bill asked for my help in establishing 30 minute parking stops on Dewey Avenue, for customers visiting the business on their way in or out of town. In the early months of the pandemic, Argus Farm Stop was a topic of conversation again, when I worked with local advocates to craft a resolution in support of low-income residents who use EBT cards. During those very challenging months of isolation in 2020, advocates told me: Argus Farm Stop was one of our most supportive local groceries, doing everything possible to get groceries to their customers.
Last week, I visited Argus Farm Stop and toured their expanded operations: a dedicated cafe at the corner of Dewey/Packard and an expanded grocery/produce store on the same block to the south. In the course of my tour, I learned about produce basket subscriptions that Argus offers for $30 a week (see picture below). The baskets are available for pickup at both Argus Farm Stop locations (1226 Packard and 325 W. Liberty) and Cahoots downtown (206 E. Huron). Local delivery costs $5.
I was especially excited to learn: the Argus weekly produce baskets are available at a deep discount ($3.75) to anyone who uses EBT cards. Their cafe margins help with their model and the cafe provides a community space to the neighborhood. Kathy and Bill are eager for more people to be aware of this business model and teach a course on it. Argus Farm Stop is also deeply committed to providing locally grown, healthy food to people who might not otherwise have access to it through the Double Up Food Bucks Program. What a wonderful program!
Argus Farm Stop is a special example of what can happen in our community to support the goals of sustainability and equity. If you haven’t visited this block of Lower Burns Park recently enough to see the newly expanded Argus operations on Packard, I highly recommend that you check it out. This is a place that you should know!