History

An American Success Story

Concessions International, LLC is an Atlanta-based company that has been in the airport concessions business since 1979. CI began as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) with three owners. In 1999, Mr. Herman J. Russell, purchased his founding partners’ interests making CI a family-owned company. Over the past three decades, CI has grown from a one-unit company to one with operations throughout the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Concessions International Timeline

1979
1979

Herman J. Russell, affectionately called H.J., along with his longtime friends and business partners Felker W. Ward, Jr. and Jesse Hill, Jr., founded Concessions International (CI) as a DBE (disadvantaged business enterprise) with 25 employees and one snack bar at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). After five years of successful operations in the LAX International Terminal, CI was selected to operate all food and beverage concessions in the new Tom Bradley International Terminal. The Bradley Terminal, which opened in June of 1984, serves most of LAX’s international carriers. Concessions International operated in LAX through December of 1996.
1995
1995

CI became a prime contractor, winning its first multiple facility contract for three bars and three Wendy's franchises at the Portland International Airport.
1999
1999

Herman J. Russell purchased the interest his founding partners, Felker W. Ward, Jr, and Jesse Hill, Jr. had in CI, making it a family-owned company.
2014
2014

CI opened an in-airport proprietary concept called Fresh Exchange at Denver's Union Station in downtown Denver On November 15, 2014, the Concessions International family lost its founder and chairman, Herman J. Russell, at the age of eighty-three. His life-long contributions will live on through all that he touched. The legacy continues
2018
2018

CI began operating its street-side Starbucks at the Alliance Center in Buckhead Atlanta.

2021
2021

Another proprietary brand, Roast Coffee House, opened in both the Seattle and Atlanta airports.

A New Generation

Operated by the second generation of the Russell family, today CI is ranked among the top six largest food and beverage airport concessionaires with 40 food and beverage sites in eight major airports. CI also operates Paschal's Restaurant in the historic Castleberry district of downtown Atlanta and Pemberton Café located adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium. In July 2014 CI opened a proprietary concept called Fresh Exchange at Denver's Union Station in downtown Denver.


Driven by innovation and technology, CI introduced the first tabletop iPad ordering at ATL, allowing travelers to browse the full food and beverage menu and order in minutes from every seat in both Samuel Adams Atlanta and Dos Equis Explorer Lounge Restaurants.

Moving Forward

Today’s airport concessions environment is constantly changing and Concessions International understands that keeping up with those changes and taking care of its guests requires a strong infrastructure and careful planning. Over the years, the success has been based on providing the right mix of outstanding food quality, variety, reasonable prices, proactive facility management style and commitment to customer satisfaction. The company’s family of employees, managers, subtenants and partners are the right mix of many cultures, backgrounds and skill levels that continuously positions CI to move competitively into the future. CI’s extensive industry experience has prepared it to compete for new contracts, continue steady growth and be the airport concessions employer of choice while maintaining a strong commitment to value and service.


On November 15, 2014, the Concessions International family lost it's founder and chairman, Mr. Herman J. Russell, at the age of eighty-three. His life-long contributions will live on through all that he touched. The legacy continues….