USA. HMSHost is to open two food & beverage concessions based on local businesses at Jacksonville International Airport.
Chef-driven coffee house Southern Grounds will get its first airport location in the autumn, while Florida-based BurgerFi will open at a later date.
Both openings are part of a 10-year, US$60 million contract awarded to HMSHost and its Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) joint venture partner Lee Wesley Group by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
Southern Grounds aims to create a community around great food and drink, and will be located in Concourse A. The coffee house collaborates with chefs and farmers from around the south east of the country to craft menu items that are sourced from local purveyors, whenever possible. Southern Grounds serves all-day options, with a focus on healthful goodness and sustainable ingredients, HMSHost said.
As well as its gourmet coffee and teas, the food menu includes snacks, pastries and other bakery items. Artisan sandwiches, salads, and tartines, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and health-forward options, are available. A fresh, grab-and-go selection also features.
BurgerFi will open at a later date in the Concourse B, with the timeframe to be determined by construction progress in the concourse.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to bring local businesses into the airport, especially one like Southern Grounds that has deep local roots and delivers a beloved community gathering place into the concourse,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Stephen Douglas. “With the upcoming opening, we’re sending travellers off with one last bite and sip of a hometown favourite.”
Jacksonville Aviation Authority CEO Mark VanLoh commented: “Coffee remains one of the most popular products among our passengers in the airport. With Southern Grounds’ presence in the terminal, travellers will have a fresh gourmet coffee shop experience from a local favourite.”
Southern Grounds owner Mark Janasik said the aim was improve the traveller experience. “Traditionally, being in transit has been the least enjoyable part of travel,” he noted. “With our partnership with HMSHost and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, we aim to change that with a sense of community, great cup of coffee, and a relaxing customer centric atmosphere.
“We aim to connect our community and passengers with a unique and memorable experience along their journey.”
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The company also organises the annual Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards. FAB 2020 will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 June. Istanbul Airport will host the event, which will be a celebration not only of the best in international airport dining but also of Turkish cuisine and culture. FAB 2020 will be supported strongly by Tum & Ictur, the concessionaire managing 34,000sq m of food & beverage space at Istanbul Airport.