One local minority-owned small business at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is making history. Concord Collective is the first 100-percent Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) business to successfully take over the entire portfolio of a major LAX food and beverage concession operator.
Los Angeles-based Concord Collective recently acquired SSP America’s LAX business and has eight dining locations now under its ownership featuring a curated mix of strong national brands and its own bespoke brands.
“To be a major business owner in one of the world’s largest and busiest airports is a dream come true,” Plummer said. “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.”
For this historic opportunity to come to fruition, Concord Collective 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, plan new brands and seamlessly serve LAX guests all during the global pandemic.
“Having diverse business owners is critical to creating the world-class experiences that today’s airport customers expect and demand,” said Christopher Adkins, URW’s Director of the Advance Network. “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 of LAWA, said he is excited to see history in the making but knows more needs to be done to increase diversity and achieve a true, authentic representation of Los Angeles at LAX.
“We’re working very hard to create more opportunities for small, local and disadvantaged businesses,” Erbacci said. “We need to look at the employees here to help us find our future ACDBE owners. The employees who are starting out now as workers and getting into the industry should be the next wave of small business operators.”
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 Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) and minority 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-percent ACDBE business.
“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-percent minority owned and operated businesses.”
“Greg is a shining example of the goals of the federal ACDBE program, which include creating a level playing field for minority and women-owned enterprises to compete in the airport environment and growing their capacity to become prime operators on their own,” Erbacci said.
A graduate of Morehouse College, Plummer also is a Foundation Board of Director Member with the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC).
Eboni Wimbush, AMAC President & CEO, said Greg is an inspiration to the industry and to the next generation of women and minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.
“Greg is not just making history at LAX but he is inspiring all of us—from frontline concessions workers to businesses partners, airport owners, and operators across the country,” Wimbush said. “We all can learn from Greg and this exemplary ability to bring people together in partnership to benefit a community. LAWA and URW are changing how business is done and paving a new path for a more inclusive and equitable future.”
The new LAX restaurants operated by Concord Collective include Panda Express, Einstein’s Bagels, Chick-fil-A, and Betcha Burger, now open in Terminal 1; and coming soon Ace Cervecería & Tacos and Qwench/Wetzel’s Pretzels. In Terminal 6, the company operates Peet’s Coffee.