Local minority-owned small business Concord Collective has become the first Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) to take over the entire portfolio of a major food and beverage concession operator.
Concord Collective recently acquired SSP America’s Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) business and now has eight dining locations under its ownership featuring a curated mix of strong national brands and its own bespoke brands.
Greg Plummer, CEO and managing partner of Concord Collective, said, “To be a major business owner in one of the world’s largest and busiest airports is a dream come true. A lot of hard work and collaboration went into getting us to this point. Everyone recognized the significant opportunity at hand and came together to make it work. I am truly grateful.”
Plummer worked closely with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), LAX commercial developer and manager Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Airports (URW Airports) and SSP America to take over the business, while planning new brands and serving LAX guests during the pandemic.
Christopher Adkins, URW’s director of the Advance Network, said, “Having diverse business owners is critical to creating the world-class experiences that today’s airport customers expect and demand. Understanding the barriers to entry these businesses face, we’re working together to bring more minority- and women-owned businesses into the airport. We’re inspired by Greg and his team and hope what we’re doing here at LAX can become a model for airports across the country.”
Justin Erbacci, CEO, LAWA, added, “At LAWA we’re focused on creating more opportunities for small, local and disadvantaged businesses. Greg Plummer is a model for how we want to see our ACDBEs build their businesses at LAX and become prime concessioners – and help to bring in and mentor more ACDBEs. We want to congratulate Greg on his accomplishments and thank him for choosing to expand at our airport.”
ACDBE certification is a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) program designed to level the playing field for small businesses who wish to participate in contracting opportunities at airports.
Certified firms must meet eligibility standards established by the USDOT including ownership of at least 51% by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals and management and daily business operations control by one or more of the socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who own it.
Plummer began his career on the front lines as a restaurant manager at LAX, spending the next 12 years working his way up through minority-owned and operated CMS Hospitality before it was bought by HMSHost, a major prime concessions operator. In 2016, he left to start his own company, Enjoy Repeat, a certified ACDBE and minority joint venture (JV) partner of SSP America. When presented with the opportunity to take over SSP America’s LAX business, Plummer assembled a team of black and minority partners to form Concord Collective, a 100% ACDBE business. Concord Collective employs 140 people at LAX.
“Unfortunately, the trend has been for larger prime operators to buy out smaller minority JV partners,” said Plummer. “We are charting a new course and are committed to helping launch more 100% minority-owned and operated businesses.”
The new LAX restaurants operated by Concord Collective include Panda Express, Einstein’s Bagels, Chick-fil-A, Ace Cervecería & Tacos, Betcha Burger and Qwench/Wetzel’s Pretzels, now open in Terminal 1. In Terminal 6, the company operates Peet’s Coffee.