Smokehouse Café


Opened by Bouwa Whee Catering in 2012, the Smokehouse Café was envisioned as more than just a restaurant: it would also be a way for the company to train workers for its operations at the Snap Lake and Diavik diamond mines.

In order to be successful as a training kitchen, the Smokehouse had to be successful as a busy buffet-style restaurant. But the Smokehouse was located in the community of Ndilo, which is outside of Yellowknife’s downtown core. For that success to come, people had to know about the Smokehouse and want to drive the extra few minutes to get there. 


Tait developed a branding strategy, and conceived, planned, and implemented an advertising campaign in support of the launch and ongoing business of the Smokehouse. The design brought together unique traditional Aboriginal elements of the café such as its integration of cooking methods like smoking and offering of country foods like bison, and its skill in using western culinary preparations and ingredients.

A range of eye-catching ads across social media, electronic message boards, print advertising and local media piqued interest. Tait also designed and maintained the Smokehouse website, which fit into the restaurant’s branding, and developed and executed a social media strategy, including managing the Smokehouse's Twitter account.