Branding for Umu Kitchen

Brand identity & design

A new identity

From a burning passion for coffee and all things delicious, Umu Kitchen was born. The lovechild of Emily and Soane, this culinary affair has brought a taste of Tonga to Brisbane's leafy southern suburb of Tarragindi.

Naming their baby was easy, with “Umu” being inspired by Soane’s proud Tongan heritage meaning “polynesian earth oven”, while the more obvious “kitchen” being the place where Soane and Emily work their magic. Leveraging Soane’s culturally diverse chef training with Emily’s biomedical science degree, the cafe’s menu boasts an inconspicuously healthy, yet super tasty selection.

When By Ninja collaborated with Umu Kitchen to create their cafe branding, paying homage to the cafe’s name and location was important, which we did through a modern minimalist adaptation of traditional Tongan iconography, tattoo and tapa craft.

The pudding

The result of this cafe branding? Simply REGAL. That’s right, it’s lead to a real brand recognition in their local community of Tarragindi but also notably, the Tongan community, allowing them to not only double their revenue in only 9 months, but also receive a very honourable invitation to cook for the Princess of Tonga.

In their own words

Kathleen and the team at By Ninja have been absolutely incredible in bringing our dream to life. We recently purchased a cafe and underwent a rebrand and to say that the logo & design are drool-worthy would be an understatement. The process was easy & we felt comfortable giving feedback to ensure that everything was all we could have hoped for!

Umu Kitchen

Business card
Loyalty card

Our role
Creative direction
Brand identity design
Graphic design

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Meanjin | Brisbane, Australia

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