Officials at San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) announced May 16 the opening of the Airport’s newest pair of concessions, Jamba (formerly known as Jamba Juice) and Runway Deli by WSE Group, Inc. (WSE). The new concessions in Terminal B combine to feature a full menu of refreshing and nutritious options for on-the-go meals, grab-and-go snacks, made-to-order sandwiches, and Jamba’s fresh-squeezed juices and signature smoothies. The pair represent SJC’s first concessions fully owned and operated by WSE Group, Inc., an ACDBE (Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise).“The opening of Jamba and Runway Deli is very exciting for us at SJC and for the small business community,” said SJC Airport Director John Aitken. “It represents the demand of our growing passenger base, as well as the success of the Airport’s ACDBE program, and we are proud to have WSE Group, Inc. as part of the Airport concession program over the past 20 years as their company has grown. We look forward to their continued success.” The addition of Jamba and Runway Deli highlights the Airport’s commitment to providing a wide range of high-quality concessions and amenities to travelers, while partnering with small and local businesses that may not otherwise have a presence in a major airport environment. San José Mineta Airport’s ACDBE program’s objective is to create a level playing field on which all businesses can compete fairly for contracting opportunities related to Airport concession activities. The Airport has achieved 10.74% ACDBE participation on a goal of 10.10% for non-rental car participation. “As a woman of color working in this industry, I find being supported by and collaborating with other first-generation entrepreneurs helps to further the inclusion of other generations to follow,” said Bianca Wilczoch, WSE Group’s President. “Organizations like AMAC (Airport Minority Advisory Council) also advance these efforts and WSE Group’s CEO, Jose Placencia, is delighted to have been deeply involved with AMAC for many years.”
Jose Placencia, WSE Group Inc. Founder and CEO, added, “Opening the Jamba and Runway Deli concepts at SJC, together with my partner and daughter Bianca, is not only exciting but reminiscent of WSE’s beginning with master concession contracts from both Stanford University and UC Berkeley athletic departments.”WSE Group, Inc. was founded in 1980, starting out as the master concessionaire for UC Berkeley and Stanford for more than 20 years, and servicing major events such as the 1985 Superbowl and the 1994 World Cup. In 1989, the company became an ACDBE joint venture partner with HMS Host for retail concessions, expanding to food and beverage, and later adding University of California, San Francisco to their list of patrons. The company’s first contract at SJC was in 2000 as a subtenant of HMS Host, with whom they have continued their relationship. The company’s decades-long relationship with SJC has spanned four Airport Directors, and today’s opening is its first time operating at SJC as a direct lease tenant. WSE President and daughter of Founder Jose Placencia, Wilczoch joined WSE Group, Inc. in 2002, saying that today’s opening “represents a big win for us on many levels.” She says that driving principles of her family’s company are being nimble and able to react quickly, as well as approachability, noting that with its shift to being a direct lease tenant, she intends to maintain Placencia’s style of leadership. “I admire him so much. I would like to emulate what he’s done for our family. Egalitarianism is a big driver for us.” Smiling warmly and dressed in a striped yellow and white cotton top reminiscent of Jamba’s vibrant color palette, she added, “We’re small-medium now, but as we grow, we would like to maintain the ability to put a face with the name.” Wilczoch says that WSE Group, Inc. prides itself on its diversity, noting that the company employs people from all backgrounds and experience levels. She noted, “Just like anything else, getting in the door is the hardest part. HMS Host gave my father that opportunity and it developed into over 40 years in business.” As an avid traveler, herself, Wilczoch says that the new concepts are a perfect fit for the Terminal B location and for busy passengers who don’t have time for a sit-down meal. Her favorite drink: the Razzmatazz.