Ma And Pa Shop

DEFINITION of 'Ma And Pa Shop'

A colloquial term for a small, independent, family-owned business. Unlike franchises and large corporations, which have multiple operations in various locations, ma and pa shops usually have a single location that often occupies a physically small space. The "shop" could be any type of business, from an auto repair shop to a bookstore to a restaurant.


Ma and pa shops may have difficulty competing with larger businesses. Because they cannot take advantage of the same economies of scale, their prices are often higher. Ma and pa shops are able to stay competitive when they differentiate themselves from their large-scale competitors by offering a unique product, exceptional service or a more personalized feel.