A local vendor at the Soufside Market (Image credit: Aja Beckman/WAMU)

You are now located at Soufside Market, located near the bridge at 2510 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Why highlight Soufside Market — with up to 15 vendors — as an exemplar of Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood? The market was founded to promote Black businesses in the East of the River community, according to its co-founders, who are all Ward 7 residents: Malik Sneed, Azele Prather Jr., and Aja Sophia.

The market emerged in part during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, many businesses, schools, and organizations that anchored and provided resources for the community were locked down. Yet, we needed support and services more than ever. That led to an opportunity to lean within and build the support we have been waiting for: ourselves! That spirit became the critical driver for the birth of Soufside Market located at 2510 Pennsylvania Ave. SE with enough space for 15 vendors on Saturdays (Rodriguez, 2020).

Soufside has been a particular force during the COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community, and so the market provided an outdoor way to lean in and support Black-owned businesses. The market has already partnered with Market 7, ARCH Development, Sandlot to create more value for the community.

Elsewhere along Penn Ave East, Black-owned businesses are present in the major shopping centers, including at Penn Branch and Fairfax Village. Organizations like the Penn Ave Main Street (PAEMS) and the Ward 7 Business Partnership help to launch and sustain promising entrepreneurs. For more on economic development in general, see our article on Sustainable Growth and Penn Branch.

Have an idea? Tell us about a Black-owned business that you think represents the neighborhood, or that you think we should highlight here. Use our suggestion form to add your ideas, and optionally to be contacted when we revise this page content.


WAMU. Soufside Market In Ward 7 Is Creating Opportunities For Local Black-Owned Businesses, by Aya Beckman on September 25, 2020.

DC Line.  ‘We Decided To Build Our Own’: Ward 7’s Soufside Market Is Creating Opportunities For Black-Owned Businesses, by DC Line Editor on September 25, 2020.

ABC 7 News (WJLA-TV).  Soufside Market in Southeast quickly becomes D.C. staple for everyday needs, by Ashlie Rodriguez on October 15, 2020. 

East City Art. Soufside Market “Black Owned Everything” Pop Up, by the East City Art Editor on May 24, 2021.

Washington Business Journal. Jair Lynch fills up Penn Branch retail center with new tenants by Daniel J. Seronivitzi on May 12, 2021.