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The Ecwid E-commerce Show

May 12, 2023

On this episode of the Ecwid Ecommerce Show, we have a conversation with Liz Abunaw, the founder of the Forty Acres Fresh Market.

What Forty Acres Fresh Market is All About 

Forty Acres Fresh Market is a grocery retailer that combats health and economic inequity by increasing access to affordable fresh food in underserved communities.

Currently operating as a mobile produce market through pop-up markets and delivery services, their ultimate goal is to build a store on the west side of Chicago.

Market Research
In the interview, Liz highlighted the importance of market research for business owners. By doing that, she was able to identify what the neighborhood needed, what it lacked, and what it could support. 

First Pop-Up Market
Liz shared how her journey started with a pop-up market. Despite overbuying inventory, she was able to transform a community room into a stunning market with fresh produce displays.  

Word-of-mouth began to spread, and Liz started to receive calls from others asking if she could bring the market to their location.

Learning from Failures
Liz shared her experience of starting small and learning from failures. For example, by conducting trial runs at a temporary retail space, she faced challenges like terrible traffic. However, the experience taught her about the community's grocery leakage, leading to a better understanding of the neighborhood's needs. 

Building Trust with Customers
By consistently promoting its mission and doing pop-up markets, the business built its reputation enough to expand into delivery services, which became especially successful during the pandemic. 

Choosing a Subscription Service
Liz tried to use PayPal to sell subscription boxes but found it difficult to automate. She then looked at other subscription services and discovered Ecwid, which was easy to use without needing a strong tech background.

The quick pivot to using Ecwid a month or two before the pandemic struck was crucial to their success in gaining and sustaining new subscribers.

Leveraging Ecwid Features
Liz finds Ecwid especially helpful for staffing. It allows her to easily manage the business calendar to determine the number of boxes they need to pack each day and how much labor is required. 

The business appreciates the usefulness of Ecwid for marketing and messaging purposes. Plus, the customer notes feature lets customers give specific delivery instructions and request certain items while noting any allergies.

Working on the Brick-and-Mortar Location
Liz emphasizes that having a permanent brick-and-mortar presence is key to her mission of food equity in underserved neighborhoods. Despite the challenges, there is potential for growth and profit in the grocery industry if done correctly.

Learn more about Forty Acres Fresh Market and make sure to support them if you’re located in Chicago:


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