'Tis the season for cozy cafe meetups in Penticton

Keep cozy at a local cafe

"Four seasons of fun" is a collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton showcasing what Penticton has to offer all year round. Watch for it every Monday morning.

There may not be a better reason to drop into one of Penticton’s cozy cafes this autumn than this: the blend of intoxicating aromas of freshly baked bread, ground coffee, and a hint of pumpkin spice.

Or maybe the best reason, as Jan Petrasek of Petrasek Artisan Bakery in downtown Penticton suggests, is to simply get out and enjoy life.

“Enjoy a moment, socialize with friends, have some good food and drink,” he says. “We wish to serve people and give them joy. Just come and be a part of life!”

The patio at Petrasek is always busy and will remain open all year. Jan, who describes himself as “just a guy who bakes and makes friends," creates an atmosphere outside with a touch of romance – listen for some French music – while inside the cafe is getting ready for fall decor, pumpkin pies, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin spice lattes.

Watch for a short behind-the-scenes film coming soon to the bakery’s Facebook page to entice you to visit.

A short walk down Main Street and you’ll see the fall come to life at Tickleberry’s. As sweater weather emerges, general manager Shaelynn MacLean suggests popping in to peruse fall-themed clothing, and while browsing you’ll notice the scents of chai and pumpkin spic.

And yes, there’s a pumpkin spice ice cream.

“We can maybe take that ice cream and make a special affogato,” MacLean suggests, a play on the traditional Italian dessert that combines espresso poured over ice cream.

Wayne & Freda a few blocks away is embracing “peak apple season” according to co-owner Ryan Hawk, as apples make their way into more baked goods and the “super talented” baking crew gets down creating new treats.

Seasonal soups are back on the menu, and new equipment arrives soon to increase the baking capacity of the shop. But the newest innovation is the coffee roastery built right around the corner, which will allow more coffee offerings.

“All of the coffee is roasted locally right here,” adds Ryan.

If you haven’t enjoyed breakfast, brunch or baked goods at The Bench Market lately, co-owner Stewart Glynes has one word for you: butter. He’ll happily tell you all about it as you make your way into this café on Vancouver Hill, known for its eggs benny menu and more.

“I love telling people as they look over the baking case that everything in it is made with real butter and real chocolate,” he says. “The ingredients we use come from half a dozen local farmers, and we make everything from scratch.”

Behind the scenes, co-owner and business manager Heather keeps things running smoothly, including sourcing the retail offerings guests can take away to enjoy at home. You can even have an online order brought to your car, but Stewart has a reason to choose coming in.

“I find the sounds of our local cafés intoxicating,” he says. “The coffee being ground, the clanking of pans, the conversations between staff and guests. Come take in the action happening around you,” he suggests, adding that these small, family-run cafés put their heart into everything.

But back to butter. It makes everything better, says Stewart. “Even just putting it on toast and it takes it to another level.”

Learn more at www.visitpenticton.com and on social @visitpenticton

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