Deluxe Business Spotlight: Taste of Rondo embraces its historic significance

In July 2020, during the onset of a pandemic, Charles Carter and his wife, Kasara, launched a lifelong dream – opening Taste of Rondo in the heart of what was once the historic, vibrant Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota. Located a few hundred yards from the same Interstate that decimated the community in the 1950’s, the Carters’ restaurant serves as a beacon of hope to the neighbors who have long called Rondo home. 

One year later, their vision continues with each guest who walks through the door, and every new friend who orders up their famous blackened catfish or Wilkins’ wings. This establishment – this community gathering place–is a labor of love accelerating the reawakening of this cherished neighborhood.

But the restaurant business isn’t all peach cobbler and cream – with survival rates exponentially lower than other industries. So it was serendipitous that Taste of Rondo was one of six Black-owned businesses selected to be featured in Season 6 of the Small Business Revolution – an Emmy-nominated series by Deluxe, designed to help small businesses overcome marketing, finance and operational challenges. 

Utilizing the Power of Storytelling  

Working closely with the Carters, the marketing team from Deluxe recognized an opportunity to enhance the restaurant’s branding by paying homage to both the legacy and future of the Rondo neighborhood. Emphasizing the soulfulness and community aspect of Taste of Rondo, designers from Deluxe established a mood board to capture the spirit and serve as the foundation for rebranding the restaurant.   

A fresh, new logo 

With mood board in hand, Deluxe reimagined Taste of Rondo’s logo to pay respect to its number one menu item – the catfish – as well as lean into a more soulful version of a bar and grill feel.

Highlighting Rondo’s History

To convey the importance of the neighborhood and enhance every diner’s experience, the team from Deluxe created space on Taste of Rondo’s new website, menus and coasters to celebrate the history and future of the community.

Watch the Complete Makeover

To learn more about the history of Rondo and follow the vision of Charles and Kasara, head to Hulu, or smallbusinessrevolution.org, where Deluxe teams up with community leaders and industry, financial, and tech experts to help strengthen Taste of Rondo for generations to come.

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