Minority-Owned Market Fresh Gourmet Aims to Eliminate Food Deserts in Underserved Communities by Opening Full-Service Grocery Stores

Petersburg, VA (April 14, 2024) – Bruce Smith Enterprise, The Cordish Companies and Market Fresh Gourmet have partnered to bring a new location of the grocery store to downtown Petersburg, Virginia, a long-ignored food desert. Market Fresh Gourmet’s mission, which is centered around accessibility, community empowerment, and healthy living, aims to provide a full-service grocery experience in underserved areas and allow customers to invest in their community through ownership. Market Fresh Gourmet is a minority-owned Maryland-based business that is partnering with Bruce Smith Enterprise and The Cordish Companies to support food security and community well-being in Petersburg. This will be their first Virginia location.

“Our team is committed to making an immediate difference for the people of Petersburg,” said Bruce Smith, Pro Football Hall of Fame Member and Prominent Virginian Developer, Businessman and Community Leader. “It is critical that we are listening to the needs of the community and finding ways to be a part of the solution now.”

Market Fresh Gourmet’s dedication extends to creating local job opportunities and offering comprehensive training programs. Prioritizing quality, freshness, and affordability in their gourmet selections, Market Fresh Gourmet ensures a first-class yet accessible shopping experience with a diverse range of dietary options, including ready-to-eat meals and alternatives for all tastes aimed to stimulate, educate, and inspire healthy eating in a multicultural setting.

“We are incredibly proud to be a positive force in improving food accessibility in an area that has been long ignored,” said Zed Smith, Chief Operating Officer of The Cordish Companies. “As our partner, Bruce and his team share our core values in investing in communities for the long-term. Market Fresh Gourmet will provide an important healthy food grocery option for downtown Petersburg and its residents.”

Market Fresh Gourmet offers multiple shopping channels, from in-person to online, drive-up, and delivery services, while also being active corporate citizens, fostering collaboration and care for surrounding communities and businesses.

“Bruce Smith and The Cordish Companies have long been the fabric of and for the local community where they do business,” stated Mario Minor, CEO of Market Fresh Gourmet Inc. “We are humbled yet grateful and blessed to be a partner with such an amazing team whose work extends back for decades. Together, we will be transformative in our shared mission and vision to build a more healthier and inclusive community. This partnership is an innovative approach bringing more awareness that can be measured by improvements in the social impacts of the community and its residents.”

Market Fresh Gourmet is anticipated to open in Q2 2025. More details will be announced in the coming months. For more information on Market Fresh Gourmet, please visit


About Bruce Smith Enterprise

Bruce Smith Enterprise, led by legendary NFL Hall of Fame member and Virginian native Bruce Smith, is a commercial real estate firm that specializes in the development of premier mixed-use projects. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, the company has developed notable properties throughout the state and the Mid-Atlantic region that feature the cohesive and seamless integration of residential, hotel, Class A office, and retail space. Since retiring from professional football in 2004 after a prolific 19-year career, the NFL’s All-Time Sack Leader has endeavored to bring the same level of unparalleled excellence, diligence, and leadership that he honed as a veteran on the field to the management of Bruce Smith Enterprise. The successful development of timeless mixed-use properties that survive and withstand trends of the marketplace, strengthen and invigorate the local economy, and create jobs are core values of Bruce Smith Enterprise’s primary mission. 

About The Cordish Companies

The Cordish Companies’ origins date back to 1910 and encompass four generations of privately held, family ownership. During the past ten decades, The Cordish Companies has grown into a global leader in Gaming & Entertainment; Commercial Real Estate; Entertainment Districts; Sports-Anchored Developments; Hotels; Residential Properties; Restaurants; Coworking Spaces; and Private Equity. One of the largest and most respected developers in the world, The Cordish Companies has been awarded an unprecedented seven Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence for public-private developments that are of unique significance to the cities in which they are located. The Cordish Companies has developed and operates highly acclaimed dining, entertainment and hospitality destinations throughout the United States, many falling under The Cordish Companies’ Live! Brand, highly regarded as one of the premier entertainment brands in the country. Welcoming over 55 million visitors per year, these developments are among the highest profile dining, entertainment, gaming, hotel and sports-anchored destinations in the country. In gaming, The Cordish Companies has developed among the most successful casino hotel resorts in the world, including the Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, FL, Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. Over the generations, The Cordish Companies has remained true to the family’s core values of quality, entrepreneurial spirit, long-term personal relationships and integrity. As a testimony to the long-term vision of its family leadership, The Cordish Companies still owns and manages virtually every business it has created. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter (@cordishco).

“The Cordish Companies,” “The Cordish Company” and “Cordish” are trademarks used under license by independent corporations, legal liability companies and partnerships (“Cordish Entities”). Each Cordish Entity is a separate, single-purpose legal entity that is solely responsible for its obligations and liabilities. No common operations or financial interdependency, and no intermingling of assets or liabilities of the Cordish Entities exists, or should be deemed to exist, as a result of the potential common reference to multiple independent entities operating under the names “Cordish,” “The Cordish Companies” or “The Cordish Company” here or elsewhere. 

Media Contacts:

Cari Furman: / 330-807-4079

Andy Poarch: / 804-564-2566