The future of food court franchises by The Food Dudes
TORONTO, April 11, 2019 /CNW/ - Toronto's financial district is discovering a new class of fast food, with this week's unveiling of Blondies and Pantry on the concourse level of Commerce Court West in the PATH.
A dynamic duo in the making, both concepts have recently established themselves within Toronto's vibrant and competitive foodscape. Blondies has been bringing pizza dreams to life at its iconic Leslieville flagship since last summer, while Pantry's combo-driven menus have gained a following since its 2016 expansion from the east end to Rosedale.
Now joining forces at Toronto's premier food court, the two complementary brands will showcase inspired creations from the team behind The Food Dudes - one of the city's hospitality leaders. Blondies features a new express menu of 8-inch personal pizzas, while Pantry's custom combos allow guests to mix and match a selection of eight proteins and sixteen sides.
"Toronto's appetite for great food that's healthy, fresh and locally made is at an all time high," says Derek Wasser, the Chef behind Pantry. "We set out to design a menu that's creative, delicious and easy to serve quickly, while featuring something for everyone. Whether you're vegan, gluten free, dairy free or just selective in what you eat, we've got you covered."
With quick service in mind, the Pantry menu was designed collaboratively by Chef Derek Wasser and The Food Dudes Founder/Executive Chef Adrian Niman. Consisting of grab-and-go breakfast, combo-driven lunches and dinner options, the menu focuses on their mantra: from scratch to go. When it comes to new locations, there's no better potential for conceptual alignment than food courts.
"We've been looking to find a home in a food court for a couple of years, and we feel very fortunate to now be a part of the underground PATH neighbourhood." says Adrian Niman. "We see these concepts as the next frontier of retail food franchising, and we believe Blondies and Pantry fulfill a desire within the downtown community for easy dining options with top quality menus."
Blondies first made waves when its Dundas Street East location caught the public's eye and soon became known as "the pizzeria in the pink building". Blondies uses handmade fermented dough, full fat mozzarella and signature Red or Blonde sauces to create pizzas that stir the senses. At Commerce Court, Blondies' express menu includes a variety of personal pies served with minimal wait time, along with specialty salads and soft serve sundaes.
"If you think about visiting a typical pizza place, your option for a fast meal is to grab a slice," describes Founder Matt Blondin. "At Commerce Court, we're doing our version of a slice, which is an 8-inch personal pizza baked in our quick service ovens for you to grab on the go. Using the same carefully sourced ingredients we've developed at our original location, we're aiming to revolutionize pizza in a food court setting, offering more than a slice, just as quickly."
As for larger orders like full office lunches, both Blondies and Pantry intend to offer catering out of the production kitchen backing the two restaurants. Pantry catering from The Food Dudes commissary is already popular with many corporate clients in the financial district, who will soon be able to order directly from the new Commerce Court location.
Interior design elements are instantly notable at Blondies and Pantry. The Food Dudes tapped the imagination of MUOI - an emerging Toronto design studio - to help devise a dining experience that's as memorable as the food itself. Lead Designer Jason van der Burg and his team bring their expertise in architecture, industrial design and fabrication to build on the visual identities of each restaurant's interior.
"When we built Pantry Rosedale, we wanted to create something iconic out of simple materials, where the design was impactful enough to stand on its own," says Jason van der Burg. "By adding a dynamic element to a simple food concept, our hope was that, in people's minds, they would bridge the experience of the food and being inside the space itself. We then applied the same design approach to Blondies."
MUOI engaged renowned Toronto artist Ben Johnston to create the Blondies brand. Looking to build a loud, outside-of-the-box pizza concept, Johnston conceived a swirling-mouth icon and simple, bold typography. Polka-dotted pizza boxes add to the brand identity and tie into the restaurant's pastel pink walls and blonde maplewood panels. By adapting this signature style in a food court setting, Blondies aims to establish an eye-catching presence in the PATH.
Next door, Pantry's sleek black-and-white metro tiles rest beneath a spectacular sculpted wooden ceiling that appears to float above the counters, mirroring the signature look of the Rosedale location.
Both outlets are open Monday to Friday: Pantry from 7 AM to 7 PM and Blondies from 11 AM to 7 PM.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For photos and interviews, contact: [email protected], call/text: Rosemarie Enslin 416 684 4410.
SOURCE The Food Dudes