In the past four decades we have grown from a small bakery into a hospitality brand that has built and operated several renowned event venues, a nationally recognized boutique hotel, a lively Italian restaurant, a successful catering company, and even a celebrity event division that has raised millions of dollars for charity. We are excited to expand our footprint into other realms of hospitality and entertainment with the same passion and commitment to inspiring hospitality experiences that first motivated us to build a bakery nearly four decades ago.
Morris, Sam and Peter Mercanti join forces with their uncle Carmen Mancini to open an Italian-styled bakery on Concession Street in Hamilton in 1978. Carmen’s Bakery becomes a neighbourhood hotspot, offering traditional homemade favourites. The catering division of the business expands rapidly and is in high-demand for weddings.
Carmen’s caters its 500th wedding in 1985. Against the advice of their bank, the Mercanti Brothers build a 38,000 square foot event venue on Stone Church Road East in 1987. Carmen’s Banquet and Convention Centre emerges as Southern Ontario’s most sought after space for weddings and corporate events, pioneering the ‘wedding package’ complete with a culinary experience and full décor.
Carmen’s Piazza, a boutique venue offering three new quaint event spaces, is built in 1991. Carmen’s Catering grows from this location and over the course of a decade secures exclusive contracts with Royal Botanical Gardens, Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Beverly Golf Club, Kings Forest Golf Club, Heron Point Golf Club, City Hall Cafeteria, Hamilton Spectator Café, Ramada Hotel, Holiday Inn Trafalgar and the Royal Connaught.
Company operations are restructured where Morris Mercanti focuses on building the Halton market. Simultaneously, Peter Mercanti focuses all attention on Carmen’s operations, and welcomes sons Joe Mercanti and PJ Mercanti into the family enterprise in 2004. During the 2000s Carmen’s hosts entertainment icons Sophia Loren and Michael Douglas and President of the United States Bill Clinton.
Carmen’s secures the exclusive rights to operate The Lakeview ballroom, set against the tranquil shores of Lake Ontario and nestled in the heart of beautiful Confederation Park.
Carmen’s hosts Academy Award winner Al Pacino for a benefit event, raising $150,000 for the Good Shepherd and Empower Global.
Carmen’s founder Peter Mercanti wins the Hamilton Distinguished Citizen of the Year award.
The Best Western Premier C Hotel by Carmen’s opens its doors, immediately becoming the most popular hotel in the Hamilton market.
Baci Ristorante officially opens, earning rave reviews and is applauded for ``breaking the mould of hotel restaurants``.
Sam, Morris and Peter Mercanti are welcomed into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction, the first time siblings are simultaneously entered into the prestigious gallery.
After a highly competitive bidding process Carmen’s secures the rights to operate the Hamilton Convention Centre. Within months it is announced the venue will become home to the 2015 Juno Awards.
The Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen's hosts Grammy Winner and famed crooner Tony Bennett for a benefit concert that raises $50,000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
Carmen’s undergoes a significant renovation. The Carmen’s Group brand is officially born through an historic celebration titled RISE.