The Bench Market exudes joy for great food while exemplifying commitment to sustainability. In recognition, The Bench was the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 recipient of the Business Excellence Award for Sustainability. Owners Heather and Chef Stewart Glynes explain that sustainability begins with their community focus. “Much of our produce is from local farmers who deliver in-season right to our door, with minimal to no packaging,” says Stewart. “Proteins are from ethically-treated animals from small farms in BC. Our honey, sourced in Penticton, and our organic coffee from Summerland’s Backyard Beans are both delivered in reusable containers. And we have worked hard to source local, artisan retail items from BC, especially from the Okanagan Valley.”
They have an active composting program to trim waste further. “Each week one of our farmers takes our coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable trimmings, egg shells and other compostables to his Olalla farm to nourish his next crops,” says Heather. “With input from Stewart, he plans what to grow that we’ll buy spring to winter.” Additionally, local charities collect refundable cans for fundraising and end-of-day baking is donated to Penticton’s Soupateria. The Bench Market encourages cycling with bike racks on-site and through sponsorship of Granfondo Axel Merckx and Bike-to-Work Week. Other efforts to improve efficiencies at the building itself include replacing the roof, using low wattage bulbs and post-consumer paper products, and installing new double-paned windows.
From the building, to local food, coffee and grocery goods, Stewart and Heather are working hard to keep things green – and delicious!

Photo: Congratulations Chef Stewart!

~ Roslyne Buchanan