Business

Black-owned vineyard and farm credits community for helping business thrive during pandemic

Posted June 10, 2021 6:55 p.m. EDT

— Despite the hardships for small businesses during the pandemic, a Black-owned family farm and vineyard near Ridgeway is booming with success.

Seven Springs Farm and Vineyard is spread out on 140 acres of land in Warren County owned by the Williams family.

The business is a small seed they planted with strong faith and hope that has now grown into a tremendous experience for all.

"Our three sons are involved, our grandchildren are involved, and I look at us standing on the shoulders of those that helped us to be able to do the things that we're doing now," said Preston Williams Jr., the business' caretaker.

For the past 30 years, the family has plowed through fields to continue a legacy while building another.

"What we are building is something our children and grandchildren and great-grandkids can grow and benefit from," said Williams. "We're already teaching our grandkids about becoming young entrepreneurs."

Impact is what the family strives for by bringing joy and happiness into the community.

"I grew up here. I was raised here. I think everyone's dream is to come back home and make some kind of impact," said Jamal Williams.

The family officially opened their business to the public during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I used to work in corporate America, up until March of last year," said Clara Williams. "I know now that this was a journey that I was to take. I didn't understand it at the time, but it's coming full circle."

The family produces wines, jellies, jams, ciders and an experience that's lifting the spirits of many.

"Not only did it allow others to be able to get out, come outside, get some fresh air, to socialize, to release some tension and stress that was built up from the pandemic, it has also been a blessing, I believe, across the board," said Preston Williams.

The family said from the vineyard's rolling hills, to the event area, dock and tasting room, their success is allowing them to expand, inspire and give back.

"There's a real sense of responsibility that has been placed on us to be a beacon of light, to be an example," said Jamal Williams. "I feel as though as we have obligation, more of our people, Black people, to give them an opportunity."

Seven Springs Vineyard and Farm partners with vendors to help promote local businesses and give back to universities. The Williams family said they will be opening a winery soon.

The vineyard will be celebrating a milestone with its one-year anniversary on June 19, or Juneteenth.

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