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Mary Blackford

2023 Fellow

VV Visionaries

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United States

Focus Areas

Agriculture, Food & Hunger

Mary Blackford is the Founder of Market 7, a community marketplace that features Black-owned businesses for the purpose of alleviating food and retail deserts in Washington, DC. Mary graduated from Babson College with a bachelor’s degree in business management. In the summer of 2017, she launched her most recent venture, Market 7. Market 7 has worked with over 80 Black-owned businesses in the DC area to create alternative community pop-up markets that include fresh food, lifestyle products, and home essentials in Ward 7 (DC). Market 7 is currently building the first Black-owned food hall in Washington, DC; a new 7,000 sq ft food space slated to open within the next year.

In 2019, Blackford also worked with Whole Foods Market (Mid-Atlantic) to bring new Black-owned brands to their stores in DC. Blackford has also developed partnerships with Google and the Greater Washington Urban League to provide entrepreneurial training in underserved communities.