When Chef and Owner Matteo Paonessa opened Blacktree Restaurant in 2005, he broke the cardinal rule of real estate: location, location, location. He decided to eschew trendy, expensive locales and let his work speak for itself by moving into a small, virtually invisible spot down an alleyway in the Roseland Plaza in Burlington.
For thirteen years, Blacktree Restaurant offered a delicious, delectable fine dining experience that people – us included – adored. Word quickly spread of Paonessa’s adventurous menus, but the chef also made sure that there was something on the menu for everyone: he knew that food is meant to be eaten and enjoyed, and that experience should not be limited to those with exotic palettes.
Blend quickly fell in love with Paonessa’s cooking and the incredible atmosphere at Blacktree, so much so that we soon found ourselves working with the visionary chef. Blacktree’s menu changed every month, and so Blend found ourselves constantly updating the table menus. Blend also assisted Blacktree with social media posts and updates to their website. At every stage, we worked with Blacktree to make sure that the food remained the star of the show. It wasn’t hard – Blacktree’s incredible tasting menus were easy inspirations to draw from!
A Hidden Gem in Burlington
In many ways, the Blacktree Restaurant was the culmination of a long professional journey. At 17 years old, Paonessa attended George Brown College before moving to Italy to learn the finer traditions of cooking. When he returned, he spent ten years moving through the top kitchens of Toronto: the Crown Plaza Hotel, the Royal York Hotel, the Fifth, Susur, Eigenseinn Farm, and Oro Restaurant, where he served as sous chef.
Paonessa’s favourite method for growing awareness of his restaurant was word of mouth. “Keep whispering,” he told us on numerous, numerous occasions. It was a strategy that fully fit with his approach to food: be small, be understated, and be good at what you do.
WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Blend on print and digital projects for the past four year. They are always professional and receptive to feedback. I can depend on them to deliver on time and help me out on rush projects.
Senior Marketing Officer
I am constantly amazed at the high quality of work they produce – the final products always exceed my expectations. The team is professional, efficient and always available to their clients. Working with the Blend Team has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to working with them on future projects.
Antoniette Garda deCabezas
Development Officer, Special Events
Sinai Health Foundation
I have had the pleasure of working with Blend on a number of projects over the last 8 years. Ali and his team brings an amazingly creative mind to the table and delivers above and beyond what is expected. Their attention to detail and willingness and eagerness to work with clients definitely makes projects flow seamlessly. Without a doubt, I endorse Ali Khamis and Blend Creative Studio.
Director, Special Events & Sponsorship
The most noteworthy aspect of working with Ali is how quickly he 'got' what I was looking to do. He then was able to tranlate my ambiguous communication, multiple ideas/notions and vage references into a masterpiece so that I could say "that's it" - even though I wouldn't have known what I was looking for until I saw it. Ali is a gifted designer and has a talented extended network of others who can turn your idea into a commercial reality that is has style, sizzle and 'stickiness'
Senior Executive Management Consultant
John Swain & Associates
Blend Creative Studio has been a breath of fresh air with their creativity and knowledge. They have been able to produce quality websites that have a strong call to action, as well as assist with rebranding. Blend takes your vision and makes it a reality. The team all are experts in their own fields and each person works with you as a partner.
Founder + Marketing Consultant
Ali and the rest of the Blend Creative Studio. team truly deserve more than the "top 3" limit with respect to attributes that I can select. Personable, professional, extremely knowledgeable and talented, Ali has truly made our visions come true! Ali translated our disjointed and uninformed expressions of our wants for Bacchus Sommelier Services' look and feel into a spot on, stylish, eye-catching and attention getting brand. Our continued thanks and appreciation to Ali and the Blend Creative Studio team!
Quite simply, Ali is an artist. His flare for his designs are different from all others in his industry. He has most certainly made our company look different from our competitors. Thrilled with your work!
President + Author
The Holst Continuum
Ali and the Blend Creative Studio team provide the perfect "blend" of creative intent with ability to ground ideas in client requirements. They took our design need and materialized it by listening, explaining and sharing ideas to make sure that we were part of the process. I highly recommend Blend Creative Studio as a team that delivers brilliant concept and design in a high quality collaborative experience.
After working with Ali and his team at Blend Creative Studio for almost 9 years, I have all the confidence in the world to give them any task at hand and know that I can depend on them to pull it together no matter what. Not only do they complete the task at hand quickly, efficiently, and with the utmost care, they take it to the next level with their creative expertise and acute attention to detail. The dedication at Blend Creative Studio is unlike any other. With their talent, their future and their circle of business, is definitely something anyone would want to be a part of.
Operations Manager & Design Consultant
Fasada Home Remodelling
Ali and his team at Blend are truly experts with concept and design. They can articulate thoughts with images and color to generate powerful presentations beyond expectations. Their ability to capture my ideas and translate them into effective marketing materials is impressive and I would strongly recommend Ali and his team as part of any project requiring design elements.
Independant Consultant, Energy Technology
The quality of Blend's work and creativity is second to none. The branding they provided me with for my new company impressed me to no end. They go above and beyond expectations and I wholeheartedly endorse Blend Creative Studio and I recommend their services without reservations!
We have been working with Blend Creative Studios for quite a few years. They understood our products and helped us create a branding image that was consistent throughout all of our marketing material, from banners, brochures and website.
Sales & Marketing
Heron Instruments Inc.
Blend Creative Studio was unbelievably helpful to me when I was tasked with developing a marketing plan for camps at our 3 campuses. From developing logos to constructing websites and designing forms, Blend Creative outdid themselves. They exceeded expectations with their efficiency in meeting our deadlines and often went above and beyond when handling any revisions that needed to be made.
Leadership and Character Education, Summer Camp Co-ordinator Rotherglen School
Through Opening Hearts, I have had the pleasure of working with Blend Creative Studio on a number of projects. They have helped us create logos, postcards and sponsorship booklets – just to name a few. Their work has been very professional in all aspects. They are very creative, coming up extremely impressive designs for us. Ali, Lynn and everyone else at Blend are excellent at what they do and I highly recommend them.
Blend Creative Studio and I have had a lot of opportunities to work on many different projects together. From small-scale projects such as the refreshing old and tired creative to the development of new marketing collateral for Sunnybrook Foundation, YMCA of Greater Toronto and Children's Wish Foundation, Blend has consistently shown their ability to provide impactful and effective designs that help deliver the objectives of the initiatives. And unlike traditional design agencies, Ali and his team move at lightning speed to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget.
National Marketing Manager
Children's Wish Foundation of Canada
Communications & Membership
Cedar Springs Community Club
FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT THINGS
We would rather show, than tell.
Capture and engage your target market with the creativity of Blend Creative Studio. Contact us today to see how we can enhance your company's brand and design.
Blend Creative Studio Inc.
126 King Street West
Stoney Creek, ON L8G 0A9