Hands-on, and hand-made. Those are the qualities that have allowed Benny’s Deli to survive, and to thrive, over four decades of service to the people of Castlerea. Benny’s has always done the everyday things superbly: the warm loaf of soda bread in the morning, and a good bowl of soup to go with that soda bread at lunchtime. Proper apple tarts, made with bramley apples that have been peeled by hand. A deli selection that actually has all the things you need to make cooking and eating better. And, above all, a sense of duty to their clientele and their town that fills your heart with pride.
Benny O’Connell worked in hospitality, in every role from bellboy to hotel manager, before changing course, and training as a baker. Mr O’Connell fed the town and the townland through good times and bad, always improving his shop, expanding from a bakery with two products – soda bread and apple tarts – into a fully-fledged bakery and deli.
Castlerea has gotten lucky twice, because Benny’s daughter, Anne-Marie, came into the business in 2017 and, proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, she has continued with the family traditions of improvement, innovation, and adaptation. Today you can shop in Benny’s and eat in Benny’s and you can also stay in Benny’s, as there are good rooms for self-catering getaways. And today, as ever, everything in Benny’s is hands-on, and everything is hand-made.