MIAMI – Miami International Airport kicked off the holiday travel season on November 18 with an open house that celebrated the completion of its North Terminal Marketplace – a row of 10 new restaurants and shops that offers travelers a multi-cultural taste of Miami without leaving the airport. MIA officials and Marketplace tenants treated members of the business community and passengers to a two-hour open house that included menu samples and giveaways from Marketplace vendors.
“Congratulations to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and the Marketplace concessionaires for completing this impressive new dining and retail area at MIA,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “In addition to top-rate food and retail options, Miami-Dade County can be proud of the fact that seven of the Marketplace locations are operated by small business owners – the backbone of our local economy.”
The Marketplace, located between gates D-26 and D-29, features a combination of iconic brands and local disadvantaged business enterprises: 305 Pizza; Chefs of the Caribbean, which serves island favorites such as conch fritters and Jamaican patties; Cuban Crafters cigars; Estefan Kitchen Express, owned by music superstars Emilio and Gloria Estefan; Fig and Fennel, a farm-to-table eatery owned by Miami Beach hot spot Icebox Cafe; Half Moon Empanadas; a Miami Marlins merchandise store; Maru and Friends, which features collectible, ethnically diverse porcelain dolls by award-winning artist Dianna Effner; My Ceviche, the popular seafood deli with five locations in Miami; and The Penguin Store, by Miami-based Perry Ellis.
“As the gateway to our community, MIA is the first impression most visitors have of Miami-Dade County,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner and Trade and Tourism Committee Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz. “With that in mind, I commend the Aviation Department for developing this new section of MIA that is representative of our County’s diverse cultures.”
In April, MIA received Airports Council International-North America’s 2016 Inclusion Champion Award, which commended the airport among all large U.S. hubs for successful minority inclusion in its business contracts. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department was also recognized with the Outstanding Support to Small, Minority and Women Enterprises Award and the Outstanding Customer Service Award at the 34th Annual Florida Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek) awards program, held at Florida International University’s Koven’s Conference Center on October 14.
“Second only to our airlines, our shops and restaurants are unquestionably the most important service providers at MIA,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. Gonzalez. “We are extremely proud of the new choices available at the Marketplace, and we look forward to partnering with more local businesses who will enhance the sense of place we want our passengers to experience.”