Advance Network

Minority business owner shares lessons to succeed in airports

ACDBE partner invests in more than 40 concessions at ORD, LAX

A veteran in the concessions and restaurant industry, one minority business owner has overcome many hurdles throughout his career to succeed in his joint venture partnerships at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)  

We are proud to partner with Blanton Canady through his airport concessions partnerships with Hudson and Concord Collective. He is a partner with Hudson in 30 concession locations throughout ORD including the new Evolve by Hudson in Terminal 5. He also is involved with Concord Collective’s 14 restaurants at LAX.  

Canady started in the airport industry 12 years ago after being a fast food franchisee for almost 30 years in Chicago. He credits that experience with giving him the acumen and business experience to operate in an airport, and advises anyone starting out to gain experience by running a business on the street before entering the airport space. He also recommends finding a business partner who aligns with the same values and way of doing business.  

Before starting in airports, Canady pursued certification as an Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) operator. He is a champion of the program that is designed to level the playing field for small businesses who wish to participate in contracting opportunities at airports. Canady personally supports minority business owners by employing them for construction and integrating minority supplier products on the shelves of the new Evolve by Hudson in O’Hare’s Terminal 5.  

“There is more opportunity than ever for minority businesses and suppliers in the airport space,” Canady said. “It’s up to current owners to reach out and bring other people in–whether using a minority construction firm or putting local businesses products on your shelves.”  

“Blanton is a true partner to the airport and the concessions community, and a great advocate for minority businesses,” said Wally Kruce, URW General Manager, ORD. “He exemplifies hard work and is a remarkable mentor to those starting in the industry.”

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