Carnival Mexican Street Food

Wheelhouse Graphix Adds Spice to Carnival Market

Stepping into one of Carnival Market’s Michigan locations, you can feel the passion behind the business. And that includes everything from the aisles filled with imported groceries to the authentic Mexican street food, and even the graphic design.

For more than ten years, brothers Joe and Jason Ayiar have been cooking their family’s special recipes including carnitas (tender shredded park), carne asada (marinate grilled steak), ceviche, hand-made tamales, 14 kinds of homemade salsa, and so much more. They call their food “the real deal” and to truly experience it, you have to take in the sights, sounds, aromas and flavors of one of their Southeast Michigan locations. When you do, you’ll see the creative work of Bloomfield Hills-based Wheelhouse Graphix around each unique space.

“We are so proud of all the locations. They all have a different feel,” says Wheelhouse Graphix CEO Shauna Ryder. “Our inspiration was a classic Spanish taqueria portrayed in a clean, modern way. We wanted the icons and colors to extend into their brand.”

It all works seamlessly whether you visit Carnival’s 19,000 square foot megamarket in Rochester/Auburn Hills (the largest hispanic market in Oakland County), Carnival Mexican Street food in Rochester Hills, their flagship market and restaurant location in Pontiac, or Market Pizza & Chicken in Pontiac. The Ayiars are also expanding to Allen Park with a new restaurant coming in May 2021.

The Wheelhouse team helped develop all interior signage, designs, and the memorable and recognizable chicken holding a slice of pizza logo that designer Brandon Ash drew by hand. That chicken is also pouring syrup on a waffle (a nod to the restaurant’s wings and buttermilk waffles, made fresh daily).

“With this opportunity, they wanted something more fun and playful. They gave us the creative freedom to do a hand drawn illustration and that’s one of my passions,” Ash says. “The icon was drawn on a tablet and then digitized to create the final logo. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The concept is fun but also meets their professional specifications.”

“The customers absolutely love [our branding and design]. They all tell me, Joe, I love what you did here.” says co-owner Joe Ayiar, “From the minute customers walk in, they feel like they’re inside a big franchise store because of how it looks. But, they’re treated like family here.”

Wide-grinning sugar skulls line the walls and an iconic low-rider helps set the scene. One location features a huge red wall with a playful pattern of pinatas, tacos, and sombreros. The Ayiars worked closely with the design team, sharing their vision and images of spaces they’ve admired throughout their travels. Authenticity was one of the key elements they were looking for – and it takes teamwork and a level of trust to get there.

“I’m old school. I want to just discuss what I’m looking for, shake your hand, and move forward,” Joe explains. “When I started with Wheelhouse Graphix, I knew, hands down, they would get the job done. I call them, tell them what I need, and ask them to let me know when it’s done. You don’t find too many places like that nowadays. They are the best, absolutely fantastic.”

“They definitely helped capture my vision, and they had many of their own ideas to help bring it all together,” Joe adds. “They made me feel comfortable throughout the whole experience.”

A series of meetings and brainstorming sessions helped finalize the look and feel of the branding project, with a delicate and intricate balance that works – just like Carnival’s recipes. The end result is a delight for the senses – mouth-watering food and eye-catching designs.

“We wanted to incorporate old school Mexico and modern authentic artistry,” Joe says. “And, that’s exactly what we got.”

Wheelhouse Graphix is a full-service company that provides branding, graphic design, and large-format printing. They’re a certified woman-owned business that uses state-of-the-art technology to produce the best graphics in the industry. No matter what industry, from restaurants to motorsports and car wraps to schools, Wheelhouse Graphix can elevate your brand.

Find Carnival Market: Website, Facebook


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