The British are Coming…to Core Plus Duty Free at Melbourne Orlando’s new expanded air terminal

Brittany Williams Leverett (left) with Anthe Angelides, founder of Oneiro, at the official opening of the Core Plus Duty Free store at Melbourne Orlando Airport.

Melbourne Orlando Airport held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its new Terminal Renovation and Expansion Project and duty free store opening on January 25.

The project encompasses $72 million worth of upgrades including the addition of 86,000 square-feet of new facilities. The airport expansion was made for British holiday company TUI, which will use the airport as a gateway for TUI’s UK customers traveling to Central Florida (ie. home of Disney World in Orlando).

The first flights from seven UK airports began arriving on April 3.

Among the highlights of the January celebrations was the opening of a new Core Plus Duty Free store, operated by Legacy Consulting Group, an ACDBE and HUB certified small business founded by Brittany Williams Leverett (President and C.E.O). The Food & Beverage concessionaire operated by The Metz Culinary Management Group.

TMI spoke with Williams Leverett about how she came to open the duty free store.

With over 12 years of project management, people management and consulting experience, Brittany Williams Leverett founded Legacy Consulting Group LLC in 2020 as a continuation of the legacy her late Aunt Claudia started for her in Melbourne, FL.

“I started looking at RFPs and discussed opening our own airport concessions with my aunt, Claudia Williams-Hope, owner of C W Hope Consultant Management Corporation, back in 2017. In April 2018, I met Rick Sell, a vice president at Metz Culinary Management Group, [Ed. Note: Metz is a food management company that operates in business, healthcare, educational, or airport settings, creating on-site management at each location. ] That July, Metz contacted CWH about a duty free opportunity at Melbourne Orlando Airport, and we secured the rights to open a kiosk at MLB in February 2019 under the name Core Plus Duty Free.”

Williams Leverett said that she and her aunt had a successful 2019 season, but then the pandemic caused the airport retail business to shut down, and they temporarily closed their doors in March 2020.

“We knew that TUI was planning a terminal expansion, and were planning to operate a store in the expanded terminal, but then my aunt suddenly became ill and passed away,” she tells TMI.

On the company website, Williams Leverett writes that she knew that her aunt wanted her to continue her legacy by pushing forward with the Melbourne contract and opening the store that the two of them dreamed about when they started working together in 2017.

So in December 2020, she founded Legacy Consulting Group in honor of her aunt, and continued working with the Metz Group for the new store opening. In January 2022, she teamed up with Wise Precision Consulting to prepare for the store’s opening and get new vendors and by March of that year had opened a new kiosk.

By November of 2022, the 500+ square foot store was complete and ready for a soft opening, with the official grand opening taking place in January when the new terminal was inaugurated. April 3 saw the first UK flights from TUI for the 2023 season, which will run through November.

“Ultimately I formed LCG and Core Plus to disrupt the travel retail sector one brand at a time,” Williams Leverett said.

As part of this effort, Core Plus has launched a selection of unusual international and local products essential for travelers, some of which are exclusive to MLB.

Among these are Oneiro, a woman-owned luxury personal care brand with products like Sunchasers, a travel kit inspired by the Mediterranean; nail tips, lashes and liners from Tip Beauty; Spa Tonic, a supplement described as an optimal nutrient-dense spa upgrade, which promotes deep relaxation without drowsiness. Core Plus also features Blue Light glasses from Barner eyewear; and BugCo, anti-insect products for the whole family. Core Plus also carries travel retail’s award-winning Cabeau travel accessories, along with more traditional confectionery, perfumes, wines and accessories like sunglasses.

In another exciting move, the company recently went live with its e-commerce pre-order option.

Williams Leverett says that Legacy Consulting Group not only is looking to grow its Core Plus Duty Free business, but expand to other airports and eventually take on more clients to help coach and consult them in their business and life ventures.

“We want to help empower brands,” she stresses.