Owner and Operator, Forty Acres Farm Fresh
Liz Abunaw is the founder and operator of Forty Acres Fresh Market, a grocery startup launched in January 2018. Alarmed by the paucity of fresh food options on Chicago’s west side, after leaving her sales job at Microsoft in November 2017, Liz committed to opening an affordable specialty grocery store with a bountiful fresh food selection on Chicago’s Westside. Using an innovative mobile strategy centered on full-selection pop up produce markets to test and develop the right business model, she has grown Forty Acres from idea to a viable prototype built to scale.
Liz has a deep understanding of the need for cross sector collaboration to solve problems as complex as healthy food access and inequality. Although incorporated as a for-profit LLC, Forty Acres Fresh Market has significant partnerships with local non-profits including Westside Health Authority, a social services and economic development organization, and Windy City Harvest, a leader in the urban farming movement.
Since its inception Forty Acres Fresh Market has serviced hundreds of customers residing in underserved communities. It continues to expand its reach through a new delivery service option and participation in Veggie Rx programs. Forty Acres’ impact on Chicago’s Westside has garnered investment from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the USDA Healthy Food Financing Initiative.
Prior to launching Forty Acres Fresh Market Liz was a partner manager in Microsoft’s sales division and before that spent ten years at General Mills, Inc. A native of New York state, Abunaw moved to Chicago in 2012 when awarded a full-tuition fellowship to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, from which she graduated in 2014. Liz is a 2002 Cornell University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management.