Going Loco for Local
One of the best ways to experience a culture is through its food, and the Twin Cities has a vibrant culinary culture. With that in mind, the MAC has set out to balance national and local brands within MSP's concessions program. The results? Eighteen of the 50 new venues recently opened at MSP are local.
In addition, in order to strengthen the sense of place and a connection to our local neighborhoods, many of the news and gift concessions in MSP are branded with local neighborhood names like North Loop, Loring Park, and Como Park.
It's important to find the right mix of local and national brands, unique specialty retail, and passenger services to satisfy the tastes and needs of people from all over the world. The retail program at MSP is reflective of Minnesota and the region so that even people just catching a connecting flight at MSP have some sense of the area.-Eric Johnson, MAC director of commercial management and airline affairs
Angel Food Bakery and Donut Bar is a beloved Minneapolis bakery and is no stranger to accolades and awards - including one for its new MSP location: the 2017 Airports Council International-North America award for Best New Food and Beverage concept in the quick serve category!
Katie Gerdes, Angel Food Bakery and Donut Bar owner, accepting ACI-NA Best New Food and Beverage, quick serve category award
Spotlight - LoLo
Through the Metropolitan Airports Commission's innovative business owners outreach program, more local, small, and creative businesses are making their way through MSP's doors. Opened in October 2016, LoLo American Kitchen which has its roots in Stillwater, Minnesota, is one of a growing number of local restaurants offering sustainable food and drink to MSP's customers. LoLo has successfully made the transition from a street-side to an on-airport operation.
The LoLo experience is deeply rooted in offering creative and sustainable food and drinks while providing a sense of community. Recreating that community feel for the airport environment has taken careful thought, including modifying how to get to know and personalize the experience for an ever-changing customer base.
In Stillwater, LoLo works with eight local farms. To meet demand at the airport, the owners had to expand their network and incorporate a regional strategy - buying goods from Iowa, Northern Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
LoLo also offers cocktails crafted using locally distilled spirits, such as the Course Reviver #2 using gin from Carver, Minnesota - or the many drinks using Tattersall Distillery spirits made in Minneapolis.
In addition, LoLo is dedicated to creating meaningful jobs for talented professionals, which is why it has invested in bringing specialty skills onsite and compensating them well, including a 401k matching program. Embracing the social aspects of sustainability through employee care and customer engagement, LoLo is one of the new runaway sustainability concepts at MSP.
Goal — Become a resource for collaboration and foster opportunities for innovation
2017 – 2021 Objectives:
- Identify innovative sustainability opportunities and establish key strategic partnerships
- Train internal staff on how to represent the MAC when discussing the Sustainability Management Plan
- Meet with key groups to identify collaboration potential within the bounds of the Sustainability Management Plan
Integrating Sustainability into Shopping
As sustainability rises as a key trend for travelers, we are building our sustainability program to partner with our concessionaires! In 2014 we began formally incorporating sustainability aspects into our lease agreements with our concessionaires at MSP, and since that time have been working to establish a baseline of performance across an array of categories. Moving forward, we will be crafting our formal program with our concessionaire partners that will include sustainable, design, operations, and purchasing as well as employee engagement and wellbeing.
Partnering on Projects
Advancing aviation remains our core purpose as an entity. We continue to explore opportunities to partner with outside entities to advance aviation, engage with our community of stakeholders, and achieve our sustainability goals.
In 2015 we joined the Airport Foundation MSP in welcoming the University of Minnesota's Bee Squad program to our MSP campus. Our partners at the Bee Squad have developed a program called Bee Veterans designed to offer and assess the therapeutic value of beekeeping for veterans afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Innovating with Others
We work with a range of stakeholder to operate our system of airports efficiently on a daily basis. Over the years, we have invested in continually improving our performance through engagement with other parties. From the design and development of a snow plow machine that best suits our runways to investing in community outreach on the opportunities to do business at MSP, working with others to advance the sustainability of our airports system and its value to the region has remained a focal point of our work.