It’s no accident that the benches outside The Bench always seem to be occupied in all but the most inclement weather. The home-baked goodies and expanded menu have made the artisan food market one of Penticton’s go-to attractions. Owners Dawn Lennie and her sister, Debbie Halladay, have found the ideal formula—artisan breads and other treats baked daily their new kitchen, a scratch menu of mouth-watering meals, locally sourced condiments and other food products and ever-changing local art on the walls. Of course, there is no magic involved. Just an unwavering dedication to quality and freshness. The aroma of cheese, sourdough, olive and country breads fills the small space, brioche cinnamon buns sell out quickly and house-made granola, cookies, squares, cheesecakes and even roasted almonds attract a steady stream of loyal customers In the kitchen, brisket and smoked meat are readied for sandwiches, Panini’s are pressed, soups are lovingly stirred, slow roasted ribs and chicken are made ready for the home barbecue or oven. Pizzas are pulled from the oven, scrumptious salads are prepared for the take-home crowd and Eggs Benny emerge The sisters have evolved the one-time corner grocery store to a cafe and market that has caught on with locals and visitors alike. Make it your regular Vancouver Street stop.


Photo: The Bench Co-owner Dawn Lennie, and chef Stuart Glynes

~ Lorne Eckersley