Often when we think about innovation in the foodservice industry, we imagine kitchen technology, mobile ordering, or robotics, but innovation doesn’t always mean high-tech. Ignite Group has cornered the market on growth with a unique, innovative approach to diversifying their business.
In 2015, the company opened The Rich Uncle Tavern (formerly called the Berlin), beginning the journey to their current multi-brand concept, featuring separate restaurants, with their own special flavour and appeal. Located in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, each location boasts a very distinct personality.
“We have a strong desire to do something different, to take risks, and to develop a group of unique one-off restaurants,” says Jeff Mabbott, Director of Culinary Operations and Procurement.
By managing separate, distinct concepts, Ignite Group offers something for every guest, from a favourite family destination to a late-night spot for drinks and great food. Community is key and Ignite Group has cultivated a loyal local following for each of their locations, building relationships and giving back to the community wherever they can.
Ignite Group’s exclusive brands include:
The Rich Uncle Tavern offers an upscale, modern take on the traditional tavern, featuring an inventive menu and ambiance that pay homage to the establishments of yesteryear.
Graffiti Market opened in 2018, specializing in Detroit-style pizza, with a unique cooking process and a delicious taste. It is a favourite weekend-spot for families, offering a smart table experience where guests can play games, view the menu, get a look into the kitchen’s live feed, and enjoy tons of other cool features. Graffiti Market shares its space with Stockyards Coffee and Stockyards Brewing, offering onsite coffee roasting and local beer.
Stockyards Coffee and Stockyards Brewing bring together a passion for coffee and craft beer. Created in 2018, this is a space where the best of both worlds meet featuring weekly draught menus, single-origin and blended roasts, along with onsite and online retail shops to enjoy your favourites at home.
Crowsfoot Smokehaus, a restored version of on old inn, opened in 2020, offering smokehouse Southern comfort style food with a modern twist. There’s something for everyone on the menu from pickle chips to brisket platters and beyond.
Despite their completely separate concepts, the restaurants do have a few things in common, like the open kitchens and chef tables, allowing guests to get a peek inside the kitchen as the chefs prepare their meals. Not only that, but they are focused on supporting local producers, celebrating their community, and relying on loyal partnerships, like the 15-year relationship they share with Flanagan Foodservice.
What’s the best part of this partnership? “Flanagan’s provides expertise with face-to-face interaction, personal service, and when you need something, they work on a solution that works for your business,” says Mabbott. Saying he loves the fact that the Canadian, family-owned, independent distribution company is local and has a great rapport with the chefs. He also stresses the importance of value. “We know with Flanagan Foodservice we are getting the best quality for the best price. It’s that peace of mind that matters,” he continues.
What does the future hold for Ignite Group? With two large projects in the works, their expansion continues as they build their brand, continuing to draw in guests from far and wide to experience their unique, innovative concepts.