The history of BFM begins with the founding of its sister organization, Black August in the Park, in 2015. The annual event, reminiscent of a Black family reunion, intentionally prohibited retail in order to foster a space for community and to elevate social justice organizations. The lack of an equivalent space for businesses led to the creation of the first Black Market in order to support local Black entrepreneurs.
The Black vendor fair was hosted annually on Black Friday until 2018, when we also hosted the 1st Black Farmers’ Market to intentionally include and support Black farmers along with entrepreneurs. The success of the event led to farmers asking us to host the Market more often. In 2019, we officially combined the Black Market with the Black Farmers’ Market. We also began to work with a group of farmers (who would later become a part of the BFM Trade Union) to create a membership farmers’ market.
In 2020, the pandemic brought a sudden demand for produce as a result of social distancing measures. This gave us another opportunity to be intentional about supporting small Black farmers, but this time, on a more frequent and consistent basis . We went to work growing our Trade Union to include over 30 black farmers and entrepreneurs.
We also expanded the Market into Raleigh and began hosting it twice a month. Today, with the help and support of the community, we have paid over $150,000 to Black farmers, created a $7000 Black farmers fund to help support our trade union, and have provided healthy food access in food deserts. Our future goal is to continue to expand self-sustaining Black marketplaces that help solve Black social and economic issues.
Our vision is to make black spending more intentional by building and expanding self-sustaining black marketplaces that help solve black social and economic issues.
Yes, there is an advisory board made up of Black farmers, Black owned business owners, community partners, and the planning team of the Black Farmers’ Market.
No, the BFM does not receive funds from the above entities at this time. The BFM is operated thanks to donations, sponsors, and in kind donations from community members.
Please contact us via the contact form below to discuss.
Plans for the next Grazefully Rooted dining experience will be announced in 2021. In an effort to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, we will not host any other dining events in 2020.