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Delaware North’s travel business earns high praise at industry awards event

Delaware North’s travel business again drew the attention of the airline hospitality industry as it was recognized this week by the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA).

travel_awards_may2017-3125697At its annual conference held for airport concessionaires, ACI-NA ranked several Delaware North food, beverage and retail concepts among the industry’s best — including first-place prizes for Angel Food Bakery and the explore AFAR travel retail store, both at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

Angel Food Bakery, which opened in late 2016, took home a first-place prize in the quick service category for its scratch-made donuts, cakes and other pastries. The local Minneapolis concept has gained notoriety by using fresh, all-natural ingredients that are sourced locally and sustainably. Its quaint storefront in Terminal 1 at MSP is reminiscent of an airy European café and was designed to showcase the fresh-made donuts, cupcakes, cookies and pretzels. The store also features an array of coffee and espresso drinks, teas and juices.

Explore AFAR, a destination-driven news and convenience concept, was ranked as the top concept in the news and gifts category. Developed in partnership with AFAR magazine,a first for the trendy, adventure-focused publication.

Explore AFAR has dynamic and interactive displays and a variety of products, including fresh-to-go food items, books and magazines, electronics and accessories, gifts and apparel, health and beauty products, a variety of healthy snacks and cold beverages, as well as craft-made toffee products.

Additionally, MSP’s comprehensive retail program was awarded first place for best overall retail program. Delaware North has recently opened an array of retail outlets at the airport, including explore AFAR and other specialty retail stores such as Flirt boutique, Minnesota State of Nice, Frivolous and Adventure North, an outdoor apparel store. Several convenience and newsstand concepts were also opened, all paying tribute to iconic Twin Cities neighborhoods, including Como Park Essentials, Loring Park Essentials and the award-winning North Loop Market.

Other Delaware North concepts placed in the top three in the quick-service and full-service categories, with Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) finishing in second for quick-serve and RumFish Grill (Tampa International Airport) placing third in the full-service restaurant category.

ACI-NA is one of the industry’s leading organizations and represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACINA, providing goods and services to airports. ACI-NA’s members enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right at ACI-NA’s awards dinner are Jeff Friedman, a regional vice president of Delaware North’s travel business; Justine Moretta, VP of HR for Delaware North’s travel business; Richard Ayson, senior VP of business development for Delaware North’s travel business; Katy Gerdes, owner and operator of Angel Food Bakery; Rob Beckman, VP of finance for Delaware North’s travel business; and Steve Tomes, Delaware North’s general managr at Ontario Airport.