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Grocery Stores

Benna's Bakery & Deli

Posted by Dara Skolnick / Posted on April 16, 2009

Benna's Bakery and DeliBenna's Bakery and Deli has everything on their shelves I could ever think about needing. It's one of those typical small grocery stores -albeit a Polish one - found in every neighbourhood, right down to the Roncesvalles locals chatting with each other while blocking the narrow aisles.

During a recent visit, on the day before Easter, boxes of chocolates in every imaginable form are piled haphazardly, practically to the ceiling. There are also random stacks of coffee and tea - some with fading price tags, others missing them entirely.

Benna's Bakery and Deli

There are mountains of pickles and sauerkraut in glass jars, a deli counter selling all kinds of sausages and smoked fish and my favourite section - the bakery - where a fellow customer has just selected a delicious-looking pastel icing-covered cake.

Benna's Bakery and Deli

Benna's Bakery and Deli

Near the front of the store, I think about buying perogies but instead go for a pastry that I don't know how to describe except to say it looks like a muffin, it's in a muffin cup, but it's not a muffin. It's also covered with sprinkles and glazed like a donut, but it's not a donut either. Later, when I return home I consult with a Polish friend, hoping she'll know what it is but she doesn't. If anyone knows please enlighten me in the comments below.

Benna's Bakery and Deli

To my disappointment I discover raisins inside (which I hate), but for $0.99, picking out a few is hardly a big deal. It's light and fluffy, and tastes just a little bit sweet. I may not know what it is, but I have just discovered a delicious new treat.

Writing and mystery pastry photo by Laura Stricker. All other photos by Dara Skolnick.

Benna's Bakery and Deli

Benna's Bakery and Deli

Benna's Bakery and Deli



URSZULA / June 24, 2009 at 01:08 pm
I would like to comment on deli counter which sells fish, cold cuts, sausages, e.t.c.....
On attached picture at deli counter it is very visible that is not even one price tag attached to sausages or cold cuts.
I shop in this store almost every week and every time is given to me different price per kilogram (for example sliced rosted turkey, one week I am charge $19.00/kg next week $20.00/kg next time $17.50/kg.
They are some prices written on the blackboard attached to the wall, but those prices are not matching prices which are given to me.
This is a great store, great staff but for price tag view very poor.
I hope that Benna's store Manager will read this comment and it will be done something about price tags in n ear future to make customers happy.

Have a great day.
Ewelina / December 16, 2009 at 06:45 pm
as to your pastry enquiry
it is not Polish in any stretch of the imagination. It is one of those things that a person who is unaware of what is and is not traditional to the ethnicity would pick up because it has sprinkles on it. The Eastern Block knows not of sprinkles. It was probably made because there was left over dough from something (the Eastern Block knows everything about stretching what you've got) So you purchased it because it was in a Polish store but you picked it up because it looked like something you were comfortable with ingesting. Hope that helps :) Next time try a more traditional plum "donut", when fresh it is scrumptious or anything with ground poppy seeds... yum.
Nate replying to a comment from Ewelina / February 5, 2012 at 02:39 am
It looks like someone used leftover pączki dough/batter and placed it in a muffin holder
Grzegorz Radziwonowski / August 22, 2013 at 01:53 pm
The real answer, and no one seems to have gotten it, is that the muffin looking thing with sprinkles on it is traditionally put in Easter baskets. On Easter Saturday, Catholic (and possibly Eastern Orthodox) Poles go to church to have an Easter basket blessed by a priest. In it will be the fundamentals of the Easter Sunday meal: bread, colourful eggs, sausage, ham, salt, pepper, horseradish, and that cupcake thing. Optional but usually found is a lamb made of sugar, or a babka (bundt cake) covered in sugar glaze or chocolate.

And there you go. Smacznego!
vince / March 15, 2014 at 07:57 am
Nice deli but not as good as Karls or Ontario Meats in the day.Can still remember the wooden floors and the smoked meat smell, and always getting a sample while mom was ordering. Then a pinch on the cheek from one of the older ladies. Always a great time to go shopping with my mom on Sat mornings.
N / March 29, 2014 at 07:56 pm
I actually disagree with the previous comments... I am also Polish... Was born there... My family happenes to own a Polish bakery. It is true Polish people are thrifty to say the least, but this is actually a traditional Polish what we call a "babka" a little one... We sell most for easter, Polish people put them in the Easter baskets they take to church to be blessed. These kind are usually made from egg dough (like a chałka- Polish version of egg bread) there are raisins in them. they dont usually have sprinkles but sometimes for (decoration, a little extra sugar/color) for but are covered in icing. Also we don't usually leave the paper on. We also sell them during the year, people have them with coffee or tea.... So from a hard core Polak... Hope that helps :)
N / March 29, 2014 at 08:04 pm
Sorry correction on my part I don't disagree with ALL the posts lol... I do agree with Grzegorz
Smacznego ------------ Bon Appetite :)
cb / July 11, 2014 at 09:46 pm
Its a babka, a mini one.
Dini / November 2, 2014 at 06:08 pm
I have a fantastic business opportunity for anyone who speaks Polish . Please contact me if you are seriously looking for something very lucrative , and if you are an open -minded individual ; not afraid of speaking to a stranger to explore this !
You can also call me at 647 887 9824
Thanks ! Dini
Wanda / December 24, 2014 at 01:05 pm
This wonderful deli is almost under my nose and I too could be addicted to it because of all the wonderful food available.
I especially enjoy purchasing butter from Poland--absolutely delicious!!!...and I only eat it on fresh rye bread in order to appreciate the full magnificent taste of the butter--YUM!!!
I'd bet this butter would be amazing on the mini babka.

The HUGEST drawback is the HORRENDOUS Customer Service, I gird my loins prior to entering to buy because the service is extremely poor. I have boycotted Benna's many times and have a dear friend who has not set foot in the store for years for this very reason.

I hope the owner/manager reads this and commits to making changes. Benna's could take a page out of the Lindt Store in Don Mills for lessons in what to strive for, one leaves that establishment feeling GOOD whether one buys or not. I learned later, that this is the manager's mission statement.

There are so many places to shop in this cosmopolitan city when I enter an establishment prepared to spend my money there I want it to be an enjoyable experience. Germany has this nailed down right, time for this "world class city" to catch up and Benna's could start the bowl rolling.

I remain hopeful.

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