17:08 PM

Tampa International Airport celebrates expansion and concessions milestones

(Feb. 18, 2016) It was an exciting week in Tampa International Airport’s historic expansion and concessions redevelopment as the Airport welcomed three new developments aboard: The Concessions Receiving and Distribution Center (CRDC), Bay Coffee & Tea Company and Auntie Anne’s. Ribbon cutting at CRDC

Airport staff, partners and media gathered to at the new CRDC structure on Monday, Feb. 15, and at Airside A on Thursday, Feb. 18, to take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremonies celebrating these initial steps toward the completion of TPA’s massive redevelopment. They are just a few of the many projects the Airport plans to finish by the end of 2017.

The Airport’s 20,000 square-foot CRDC  facility will serve the 65 new shops and restaurants set to open in the next two years, including the Hard Rock Café, P.F. Chang’s, Dylan’s Candy Bar, Spanx, and a storefront for Home Shopping Network.  Approximately 40 percent of the new food and beverage options are local, including Cigar City Brewing, Buddy Brew Coffee, New York New York Pizza, the Columbia Restaurant and Four Green Fields.

“Opening this distribution center is essential to the success of our concessions program and of our overall expansion,” said Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board Chairman Robert Watkins. “The passenger numbers we’ve been seeing show how necessary the first phase of the master plan is. We are growing well beyond the 2 percent annual increases we projected when we started planning this expansion. We saw a 7 percent passenger increase in 2015 compared to 2014 and we’re on pace to see record passenger numbers in 2016.”

The high-tech, leading edge receiving and distribution center supports the airport’s switch from a single concessionaire model to multiple concessionaires by providing a central location for receiving and screening food and merchandise before distribution to the airport.

While the CRDC operates behind the scenes, it benefits the airport’s passengers and guests in more ways than just through concessions they use.

“This distribution center allows us to offer more brands while clearing up our roadways and making Airport operations safer and smoother,” TPA CEO Joe Lopano said.

The distribution center will be operated by Bradford Airport Logistics.

“Bradford has a deep knowledge of Airport concessions logistics, and we are pleased to be part of the team making this award-winning concessions program even stronger,” said Bradford founder and CEO Benjamin Richter. “Additionally, our industry-leading technology will help strengthen airport security and sustainability programs.”

Bay Coffee & Tea, a locally-based organic coffee shop, and Auntie Anne’s, the largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise in the world, opened today on Airside A.

“We are thrilled to welcome in these two new concessions options, and to begin to transform the food, beverage and retail options available at Tampa International Airport,” Lopano said. “We think Bay Coffee and Auntie Anne’s will be a great fit and much appreciated by our passengers.”

The Bay Coffee & Tea Company – a minority-owned business – was founded in 2004 by Herb Colvin in Tampa and features products that promote organic, fair trade coffees and teas. Colvin started as a vender in a small farmer’s market in Dunedin before opening his first retail store.

Now Colvin’s shop is an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) business, and part of the Airport’s rise in ACDBE participation from three companies to 15 through the redevelopment.

“I look forward to working with our joint venture partner, Hojeij Branded Foods, and I am excited about introducing my organic coffee to visitors and locals as they travel through Tampa International Airport,” said Colvin.

Auntie Anne’s is one of the most popular snack options in the world, annually selling 95 million pretzels in 46 states and 25 countries. Their menu features up to 13 varieties of pretzel, ranging from sweet to savory. Auntie Anne’s has partnered with Duomo Gelato, a Tampa-based operation that will bring freshly made gelato to customers.

“Auntie Anne’s Pretzels is a classic favorite for travelers looking for a quick, tasty snack on the go,” said Kevin Kelly, president of Delaware North travel hospitality. “We are proud to have them in the Tampa International Airport.”