The next generation of airport concessionaires has arrived at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).
Local Chicagoan Farhana Rahim, a Chicago airport restaurant veteran who manages T5’s Goddess & Grocer and other concepts at ORD and MDW, recently launched Fresh Creations, a new woman-owned, 100% ACDBE business looking to capitalize on new opportunities at O’Hare.
We’re so proud to celebrate the launch of Fresh Creations, a new woman-owned, 100% Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) business looking to capitalize on opportunities at O’Hare. Farhana Rahim, who has more than 15 years of experience at Chicago’s airports, recently opened her own business to invest in and operate airport concessions.
Farhana currently oversees hiring, training, and management for Midway Restaurant Development, whose operations include The Goddess and Grocer and Garrett’s Popcorn in ORD’s Terminal 5 and Gold Coast Dogs and Subway in Terminal 3. Last year Farhana started her own ACDBE business, Fresh Creations. She is looking to become a joint-venture partner and create her own path in airports.
“This is an opportunity to build on my career at the airport while starting to venture off on my own,” she said. “I’ve been a front-line worker and now in management, so I know what it takes to work in the airport. I’m excited to bring a new experience that meet the demands of today’s travelers to O’Hare.”
Farhana has spent a great deal of her life working beside her father, Sulaiman Rahim, in airports. She started by helping out at the family’s hot dog stand at Midway Airport then worked her way up to assistant manager while attending DePaul University in Chicago. While she didn’t plan a career at Midway Restaurant Development, a full-time manager job and the opportunity to continue working alongside her father changed her mind.
In 2014, the company brought local popular gourmet grocer and deli, The Goddess and Grocer, to O’Hare’s T5—an airport first and exciting new concept for Midway Restaurant Development.
Farhana has seen firsthand the challenges that minority and women owners face in the airport business. She believes earning ACDBE certification is vital to moving her business forward and opening doors she may not have had otherwise.
Wally Kruce, URW’s General Manager at O’Hare, said that supporting Rahim and local entrepreneurs like her is a big priority for the company across its business.
“Helping champion the next generation of ACDBE owners as they work their way up in the airport and realize their dreams is hugely rewarding for us,” said Kruce. “We are so proud of Farhana’s success and we look forward to continuing to support amazing local businesses in all that we do here at URW.”
Midway Restaurant Development has not only helped advance Rahim’s career but aims to assist all employees on their career path. The Chicago-area company is known for its dedication to their employees, offering 100% paid healthcare for employees and their families, tuition reimbursement, and even cross training employees in all positions and locations.
“Our employees are the backbone of our company, and the only way for us to be successful is to keep them happy and engaged,” she said. “By providing support that helps build their careers, provide for their families, and achieve their dreams, we create an environment where people feel proud to come to work each day.”
Rahim is looking forward to her first business venture with Fresh Creations and continuing to explore more opportunities for Midway Restaurant Development.