WashU startup Find Your Farmer purchased by Indianapolis firm

  • January 18, 2024
  • By Suzanne Koziatek
  • 3 minute read

A group of WashU students who started an online farmers market during the pandemic has sold the company to an Indianapolis firm.

Find Your Farmer LLC announced recently that the company has been acquired by Market Wagon, a firm that operates 18 food hubs throughout the United States. 

Find Your Farmer cofounder and CEO Noah Offenkrantz, BA 2020, said he and the other cofounders were roommates when the COVID pandemic hit, spurring them to do something about the disruption of local food chains.

“The pandemic shut down a lot of farmer’s markets and prevented restaurants from buying from local farms,” Offenkrantz said. “We had the idea to create an avenue of sales.”

That avenue became Find Your Farmer, which initially provided last-mile delivery of food through a local food hub, and in 2021, began partnering directly with farms and artisans.

Olin graduate Ben Green, BSBA 2020, said he and the other four cofounders of the company were all close friends at WashU. He said Offenkrantz came to them after graduation in May 2020 with the idea for the startup. “I loved the concept and thought it was so cool.”

As the only business student in the group, Green worked on refining the business plan, but as Find Your Farmer moved forward, all the founders did a little of everything. “I was at the St. Louis City Department of Health getting permits, I was scouting locations for us to do our sorting,” Green said. “Then when we launched in late August 2020, I was helping sort and do deliveries myself. It was a great experience.”

At their peak, the company had about 70 direct sourcing partnerships with farms and food providers, Offenkrantz said.

Green started a full-time job in New York in October 2020; as he and the other cofounders moved out of town, Offenkrantz and cofounder Spencer Stewart have been in St. Louis working directly on Find Your Farmer. Late last year, Offenkrantz and Stewart made the decision to move on as well.

Green said that while the group didn’t initially see acquisition as their goal, “it was a pretty nice exit.”

He believes Olin prepared him well for his work at the startup, thanks to a robust set of “business gen-ed” courses that covered all aspects of running a business.

It gives you great exposure to everything that you can be doing in a business.  

Ben Green

Green credited his fellowship at the Center for Experiential Learning with helping him understand the needs of small business owners. It also led the team to Peter Boumgarden, then the faculty director for the CEL, who served as an advisor for Find Your Farmer.

“We were meeting weekly with him for a while,” Green said. “He answered all our questions, and he would question everything we were doing to make sure it was fully thought out.”

Both Green and Offenkrantz said Find Your Farmer was a valuable source of experience for their future entrepreneurial ambitions.

“On a personal level, I learned a lot, lived through a lot,” Offenkrantz said. “It’s one thing to talk about theories in a classroom, but looking at your expenses with accountants and figuring out how to make a business sustainable is a whole different kind of beast. It forces you to learn.”

He and the other founders are happy that their vision for the company will continue with Market Wagon.

“Looking back on it, I’m happy we were able to help a lot of small family farms and artisans through the pandemic,” Offenkrantz said. “Generating those relationships was the most fulfilling part of the project.”

About the Author

Suzanne Koziatek

Suzanne Koziatek

As communications and content writer for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to seek out the people and programs making an impact on the Olin community and the world. Before coming to Olin, I worked in corporate communications, healthcare education and as a journalist at newspapers in Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan.

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