Gourmet coffee is coming to the Springfield airport. Locally based Heroes Coffee Company will open an airport store in early February.
“Of all the requests we get from airport customers, gourmet coffee is probably the most mentioned,” says Brian Weiler, the airport’s director. “We already have two restaurants, two news and retail stores, and a full service bar. Gourmet coffee was the missing link — so I know the addition of Heroes will make a lot of people happy.”
Heroes Coffee Company is a gourmet coffee roaster and cafe wholesale supplier with a coffee factory and corporate office located in downtown Springfield. The airport store will be the company’s seventh retail location. Dustin and Katie Jackson will operate the airport location under a license agreement with Heroes. The Jacksons have a long history with the airport; since 2002 they’ve operated Jackson Contract Services LLC which provides skycap services at the airport.
“We love gourmet coffee and we love Springfield,” says Katie Jackson. “We're proud to bring a truly premium local coffee to the airport”.
The airport beverage menu will include gourmet coffee, espresso, fruit smoothies, Italian sodas, and root beer on tap from Springfield Brewing Company. Food items will include custard bars from Andy’s Frozen Custard, baked goods from Brown Egg Café, and chocolate from Askinosie Chocolate.
While airport customers enjoy their gourmet coffee they can surf the Internet using the airport’s new and vastly improved Wi-Fi system.
Wi-Fi allows computer users to connect to the Internet wirelessly. The Springfield airport began offering the service for free in 2003. It was one of the first airports in the country to do so.
“Ten years ago the only people using the Wi-Fi were those with bulky laptop computers. And their numbers were few,” says Randy Riley, airport information systems supervisor. “Today it’s completely different. It’s not unusual to have a couple of hundred people connected. A few still use laptops, but the majority use tablets and smart phones. We see whole families who are wired — mom and dad with iPads; kids with iPhones and iPods.” The old Wi-Fi system couldn’t keep up.
The new Wi-Fi keeps up with demand and can even regulate usage. “Suppose someone is hogging the connection by downloading huge files,” says Riley. “When that happens it can slow down everyone else’s connection. Our new Wi-Fi identifies connection hogs and cuts them back. That way everyone is assured a good connection.” And oh yes, airport Wi-Fi is still free.