"In life I have always worked hard and dreamed big, that has been the secret to my success"
Peter Mercanti is a Hamilton hospitality pioneer whose innovations in the food and hospitality industry have led to a successful career for close to four decades in the city he calls home.
Peter immigrated to Canada with his parents, brothers Morris and Sam, and sister Roseanne in the 1950s from Abruzzo, Italy. 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 to the point where Carmen’s managed the food and beverage operations at over a dozen golf courses, hotels, and event venues.
Peter’s list of honors include Hamilton Citizen of the Year, Hamilton Gallery of Distinction, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by Tourism Hamilton. Throughout his career he has been in the presence of Presidents and Prime Ministers, Grammy Award winning musicians and Academy Award winning actors.
His greatest pride is to see his children Daniella, PJ and Joey continue in the Mercanti tradition with their success in business and their love for family and community.
In his spare time Peter enjoys golf, socializing with neighbors, spending time with his grandchildren and he attributes his success to the good counsel and business support provided by his beautiful wife of 46 years, Gabriella.
JC Campos is in his element when coordinating business projects aimed at developing and implementing growth opportunities. As the former Business Development & Communications Specialist for Carmen's Group, his primary focus was on the planning and execution of new business initiatives. JC was also the main lead on delivering internal and external corporate communications for the company.
Prior to joining Carmen’s Group, JC worked for Rogers Media in Calgary developing creative marketing campaigns for advertising clients. His efforts helped Rogers Media clients in the Alberta market achieve a strong and compelling brand identity while raising brand awareness and increasing sales.
His educational background is in advertising and marketing; highlighted by a Corporate Communications and Public Relations post-degree diploma from Toronto's Centennial College, which he received with Honors. He also carries an Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Media Communications.
Under the tutelage and guidance of Peter Mercanti, JC is acquiring a more in-depth look at how a successful company is managed and the idiosyncrasies of running a prosperous business.
JC is fluent in three languages, including English, Portuguese and Spanish; with a basic understanding of French and Italian. It's no wonder he values spending his time away from work either traveling the world with his global index of friends, or following anything soccer related.
Chef Steve Rydtschenko leads all aspects pertaining to food and food safety for Mercanti Specialty Foods Inc. His culinary mastery stems from years of training at some of the best established restaurants and chefs from around the globe; including Scaramouche in Toronto under Chef Keith Froggatt and Ici Bistro in Toronto under Chef J.P. Challet.
Traveling around the world to cook also helped shape Rydtschenko as a chef. He did stages in Montréal, Chicago and San Francisco before moving to Europe to cook for six months. The experience of seeing how European restaurant kitchens worked was a source of inspiration and the chance to gain a different sort of experience from cooking in North America. The development of the culinary industry over Rydtschenko’s 24 years of experience has driven him to continue improving himself as an Executive Chef.
Chef Steve received a degree in Culinary Management from George Brown College. His experience as a Corporate Chef for Milestones in Ontario had him working as a multi-unit chef for three restaurants and was influential in the opening of four restaurants. His leadership in training staff, menu planning, menu development and menu roll outs from a corporate level are assets that will help catapult Mercanti Specialty Foods Inc. projects to the next level.
When not spearheading all aspects of food and food safety for the company, his favorite moments revolve around being a father and enjoying outdoor recreational activities.