As the founder of Carmen’s, Peter Mercanti is one of Hamilton’s hospitality pioneers whose innovations have reinvigorated food and hospitality in this city. Peter’s vision and tenacity has allowed Carmen’s to grow from its humble beginnings at Carmen’s Bakery on Concession Street into the hospitality force that it is today.
Peter immigrated to Canada with his parents, brothers Morris and Sam, and sister Roseanne in the 1950s. His desire to create a better future for his family prompted him to work hard in developing Carmen’s Bakery. The success of the catering business at the bakery prompted Peter and his brothers to build Carmen’s Banquet Centre, a state-of-the-art facility that became a one-stop destination for weddings and special events. The business would eventually grow where Carmen’s managed the food and beverage operations at over a dozen golf courses, hotels, and event venues. Today Carmen’s Group focuses on managing four venues including Carmen’s, Best Western Premier C Hotel, The Lakeview and Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s.
Peter’s list of honours include Hamilton Citizen of the Year, Hamilton Gallery of Distinction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by Tourism Hamilton. Despite having served for Presidents and Prime Minister’s, Grammy Musicians and Academy Award Winners, his greatest pleasure is touring newly engaged couples around Carmen’s and learning about them. In his spare time Peter enjoys golf, socializing with neighbours, spending time with his grandchildren and he attributes his success to the good counsel and business support provided by his beautiful wife of 45 years, Gabriella.