Colectivo closing airport kiosks

Valentine Coffee to take over

A Colectivo cafe.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:24 pm

Milwaukee-based Colectivo Coffee announced Friday it will close its three kiosks at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, effective immediately.

A Colectivo cafe.
A Colectivo cafe.

The coffee roaster said it has ended its relationship with SSP America, which operated and managed the airport stands under a licensing agreement beginning in 2009. SSP also operates the Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s Nonna Bartolotta and Pizzeria Piccola restaurants at the airport.

Milwaukee-based Valentine Coffee Co. will take over operation of the kiosks, said Harold Mester, General Mitchell spokesperson.

“We are disappointed we will no longer have the opportunity to serve travelers at Mitchell Field,” said Scott Schwebel, vice president of brand, marketing and retail for Colectivo. “Unfortunately, we could never consistently achieve the level of overall brand experience we demanded under SSP operations.”

Colectivo, established in 1993 as Alterra Coffee, has 13 Milwaukee-area locations and three Madison locations.

“We initiated this,” Schwebel said. “I’m not surprised that they went out and found a replacement for the business.

“We had a licensing agreement with SSP and one of the contractual pieces of that is if we feel that damage is being done to our brand, then we have an option to terminate the operating contract. There was basically a nine-month window from when we exercised our right of getting out of the business to when it actually happened.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.