Head up Vancouver Avenue in Penticton to The Bench Market to meet and eat like a local. With a buzz of activity even when the tourist season subsides, you’ll find it easy to spot. Just look for the row of bicycles parked in front and cars lining the street. As owners Heather and Executive Chef Stewart Glynes celebrate their second anniversary of ownership, their minds are focused on supporting the community and giving thanks to the customers and suppliers who support it. The Bench is active in fundraising and involved in many initiatives such as Granfondo Axel Merckx, Peach City Radio, the Penmar Community Arts Society and the Salvation Army community food bank. Awarded the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Excellence Award for Sustainability even its eco-friendly commitment is rooted in community. Says Heather, “Beyond a coffee shop and restaurant, we offer a broad range of artisan market products that we source from BC and especially from the Okanagan.” Consistent with that philosophy, their proteins are exclusively from BC, much of the produce is direct from local farms, and their organic coffee is from Summerland’s Backyard Beans. Likewise, the walls display works by local artists.

In the spirit of continuous improvement for tourists and locals alike, the patio has been refreshed with new furniture and beautiful flowering wine-barrel planters, and a second espresso machine installed so you can be assured of quick service even when the line ups appear long. For comfort food with a stylish local bend, come to The Bench.

~ Roslyne Buchanan