Emphasizing Local Food Offerings at the Airport
By Pat Forrest

The food and beverage makeover at Thunder Bay International Airport that began with the opening of Nomad earlier this year continues with the launch of Aramark’s The Market on the public side of the terminal, showcasing new brands, including many that are local.

Emphasizing local food offerings at the airport has been a long-time goal of the Airport Authority. “Thunder Bay has an exceptionally strong local food scene for a city of our size. We wanted to reflect that in the food options at the airport. In an economy like Thunder Bay’s, we see value in supporting local enterprises whenever possible,” says president and CEO Ed Schmidtke. “We appreciate Aramark’s courage and initiative in sharing our vision.” This year marks 25 years of food service by Aramark at the Thunder Bay Airport.

B & B Farms will be providing the potatoes for the French fries, while Aramark will be preparing the pizzas in-house using Eat Local’s own recipes and local ingredients. The hamburgers will feature meat from Thunder Bay Meat Processing while persians from The Persian Man will also be available. You can quench your thirst with a cup of ethically traded, locally roasted coffee from Rose N Crantz Roasting Company, or a craft beer from Sleeping Giant Brewing Co. at the bar.

Matt Pearson, co-owner of Sleeping Giant Brewing Co., says that the partnership with Aramark has enabled his company to gain much greater exposure not only for their beer but also for their branded items like shirts, glassware, and more. “It’s been a great partnership. Lots of people who visit the city get a chance to taste our beer. Now they can enjoy a farewell drink and take home some of our merchandise as souvenirs.” Pearson adds that, over the course of a year, beyond their six to eight flagship beers, there will be more than 30 other Sleeping Giant brands available.  

Schmidtke notes that the public’s response to the new menu has been positive. “Following some initial surprise at the departure of a nationally branded outlet, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on the quality of the food and the support for local growers.”

The Market at Thunder Bay International Airport is open at 4 am daily.  From Sunday to Friday, it closes at 8 pm and on Saturday closes at 6 pm.