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‘It all started in Kelowna’: Revelstoke resident sweetens up the farmers’ market

Belinda Beneteau is the baking brains behind Sweet Bees
Belinda Beneteau has her Sweet Bees stand at the Local Food Initiative’s Farmers’ Market. (Zachary Delaney/Revelstoke Review)

This article is part of a series that the Revelstoke Review is doing this market season. The Review will highlight the vendors that make the Farmers’ Market special.

To find something sweet, follow the bees…to Belinda Beneteau’s Sweet Bees Cookies and Treats stand at the Local Food Initiative (LFI) Farmers’ Market in Revelstoke.

From cookies to cake pops, Beneteau sells it all at her stand at the farmers’ market. A baker for most of her life, Beneteau is passionate about creating treats that both she and her customers can enjoy. Standing at her booth on Saturday (May 27), Beneteau talked about how she started selling her baked products.

It all started in Kelowna.

“There was a Christmas craft fair a couple of years ago in Kelowna, and I got invited to it with my baking and that went really well,” said Beneteau.

From one market, Beneteau continued to sell her treats at more craft markets, eventually moving into farmers’ markets. When she and her husband moved to Revelstoke about a year ago, she jumped right back in — contributing to the LFI market.

A veteran of markets across the Okanagan, Beneteau has spent significant time behind a booth, but she spoke highly of Revelstoke’s market.

“I love it. It’s beautiful. The customers are so friendly, and it feels like everyone’s your friend,” she said.

READ MORE: Market Material: Schill’s Woodworking Shop

Given her experience with markets, Beneteau has the routine whittled down to an efficient schedule. She keeps the tent, table and display pieces in the car throughout the week to cut down on ‘lugging’ the gear around, but she bakes everything the night before.

Some of Sweet Bees treat on Saturday (May 27) at the farmers’ market. (Zachary Delaney/Revelstoke Review)
Some of Sweet Bees treat on Saturday (May 27) at the farmers’ market. (Zachary Delaney/Revelstoke Review)

The most common interaction that Beneteau gets at the market is a mixture of shock and delight from customers at how thick her Nanaimo bars are, but her peanut butter caramel deluxe bars are also an eye-catching eye-candy.

Beneteau’s baking started when she was 10. She’d make cookies with her mom when she was younger, then as she got older, she would bake cookies for teams when she coached basketball.

“I like the freedom to experiment with it. Like there’s a lot of chemistry and everything in it, but most every recipe you can kind of tweak and adjust anyway you like it,” she said.

Her creativity has kept her striving forward. Lately, she’s enjoyed testing new candies and working with different chocolate.

When she’s not working with Sweet Bees, Beneteau likes to golf. Her husband is the head pro at the Revelstoke Golf Course, so Beneteau golfs with him often.

You won’t hear buzzing bees as you look for Beneteau’s stand, but you can find her by keeping an eye out for a friendly face or an enormous Nanaimo bar.

READ MORE: Market Material: Summit City Artisanal Foods


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