Food News

Icebox Café Takes Off to Miami International Airport

Oprah Winfrey has hailed Icebox Café's cakes as some of the best in the country. Now, travelers with a sweet tooth won't have to schlep to Lincoln Road for a slice of raspberry chocolate mousse. This fall, Icebox Café is opening a satellite location at Miami International airport called Icebox On The Fly. This culinary outpost will be located near gate D10 in the new American Airlines terminal.

Icebox Café owner Robert Siegmann has been bidding for this opportunity since last September. He submitted an in-depth proposal to Miami-Dade County and went through a rigorous interview process. "I've presented these before in my previous life in PR and advertising, but this was above and beyond anything I've ever done," Siegmann explains. "There were major national level concessions against us. We were the underdog by size and experience, but not by concept. The airport wanted to bring in a local component and we fit the bill. However, the amount of hoops and hurdles you need to jump over are extraordinary."

Since winning the bid, Siegmann has been securing the proper permits. The nutritious Icebox Cafe breaks ground on the 1,200-square-foot space next week, with a target launch date of September 1. "They are eagerly pushing us to meet that deadline because that's when AA will be using those gates," he notes.

The MIA incarnation of Icebox Café will have two sections. The first will be a 40-seat restaurant with signature dishes like turkey meatloaf, curried chicken breast and lentil salad. There will also be a grab-and-go counter with healthful sandwiches, soups, salads and snacks (think roasted nuts and dried fruits). An even cooler part of this to-go service will be the ability to order a boxed lunch on their revamped website prior to your trip. Travelers can then pick up their meal at the counter or have it delivered directly to their gate. Icebox Café's famous cakes (carrot cake, strawberry shortcake, white chocolate soufflé, German chocolate cake, to name a few) will also be available for purchase, and you will be able to ship them across the country.

Prices will be lower at this new Icebox Cafe, in line with the market of the airport. The hours will also be longer, with the airport requiring them to be open 17 hours a day. But with an estimated traffic flow of 75 million passengers a year, Siegmann understandably thinks the effort (and much higher rent) is worth it. He adds, "I always thought we were a great fit for the airport."