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KC businesses inside KCI single terminal reflect on successful 1st year

Parisi coffee
Posted at 6:32 AM, Feb 28, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inside Kansas City International Airport, travelers are greeted with a taste of KC thanks to local businesses who operate inside the single terminal.

"The airport location, it gives us a ton of exposure, especially with all that's going on in the city," said Joe Paris, owner of Parisi Coffee. "A lot of new people [are] coming and visiting Kansas City and we've seen a lot of those customers at Union Station and ... our Overland Park location."

Parisi Coffee made its debut inside KCI a year ago and it's given his businesses the opportunity to learn how to cater to a fast-moving consumer. Paris said the hustle is paying off; since opening his small business, he has seen a boost in customers across all locations by about 20-25%.

"Coffee shops and street site locations, people like to sit, people like to hang out, open a book, open their laptop and work and speed of service isn't nearly as important as it is at the airport," Paris said.

Meat Mitch, based in Leawood, opened up three years ago and were chosen to be the flagship BBQ shop inside the new terminal.

"It's been amazing, it's really flown by, it was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for me being a young brand," said Mitch Benjamin, owner of Meat Mitch. "I mean, I had so many sleepless nights leading up to it, you can't believe it, but really check the first year off, it has been amazing."

Both businesses will remain inside KCI for years to come and are excited to see just how far their business reach will soar.

"We've become real popular with pilots and people that work on the planes and they know where we are and they come get it and they go," Benjamin said. "We get a lot of people that come and show up before their flight, Kansas City has often been considered a flyover state so we don't have a lot of layovers."