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2024 Hall of Fame Inductee: Jack Acree, Saffron Road Foods

Jack Acree headshot

After spearheading the nationwide growth of Terra Chips and building Saffron Road into a highly successful specialty food brand, Jack Acree has been seeking to share his experience and insights with others.

His long history of involvement with the Specialty Food Association includes multiple stints on the board of directors, serving on committees, and leading educational sessions.

When he was just getting his start in the industry in the 1980s, Acree was deeply involved in all aspects of the operations at Terra Chips, which had been founded by chefs Dana Sinker and Alex Dzieduszycki in New York. Acree did everything from buying vegetables needed to make the chips from Hunts Point Produce Market in New York, to driving the product from store to store to stock shelves at the city’s specialty food markets. Before long—with the help of some exposure and some product awards from the Specialty Food Association—Terra Chips expanded to the West Coast and eventually nationwide.

After leaving Terra Chips in 1996, Acree worked as a consultant and was also involved with a grocery ecommerce company called, and with a meal kit company called Impromptu Gourmet.

“Both were about 20 years too early,” Acree said.

He also ran the retail food business for chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten for a couple of years, and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he took his career on a detour to Honduras, where he worked as a scuba instructor.

He also worked with Dzieduszycki to help him build his Alexia Foods frozen potatoes business, which was acquired by Conagra in 2007, before he joined Saffron Road, the frozen Indian meals business, in 2010, and helped launch the line into Whole Foods.

Acree said he prides himself on being able to see the future potential in new ideas and enjoys imparting his accrued wisdom on other entrepreneurs in the business. In some ways, he said, it’s a bit like teaching scuba diving.

“It’s just really creating healthy guard rails for companies to exist within, and to be themselves and be unique, while just being aware of the things that could be dangerous for them,” he said.