Sharon Wiener and Ben Manea, owners of Walla Artisan Bakery & Cafe, are determined to keep their business running despite Manea’s diagnosis of ALS. Jordyn Thomson/Western News.

Beloved South Okanagan bakery has plans to re-open

Community meeting sparked new interest to keep the unique bakery open

A community meeting has opened a new door for Penticton’s beloved Walla Bakery.

“Someone offered to help manage Wall and one of our customers is pursuing a long-term strategy that would allow Walla to continue to operate in Penticton while also expand bread sales to other markets,” said co-owner Sharon Wiener.

It was just over one year ago that Wiener’s husband, Benjamin Manea, also a co-owner and the baker, was diagnosed with ALS and announced they would be selling Walla Artisan Bakery and Café.

READ ALSO: Life takes an unpredictable turn for well-known South Okanagan baker

Shortly after the announcement, they decided to change their plans after an outpouring of customers showed their support. Instead of closing, they decided to try and find someone who could take over the bakery. When that plan fizzled due to a lack of consistent help, the couple held a public discussion on March 4.

READ ALSO: Walla Artisan Bakery & Cafe seeks protégé to continue business

“There continued to be a demand for the bread, especially from those who are gluten intolerant and could not find an alternative. Ben is still happy to be doing some training and supervising. After mulling over all these factors this past month, we decided to re-open,” said Wiener.

This time they will be focusing on the bread as they stabilize and then plan to slowly reintroduce old and new products. Walla is not a gluten-free facility but their unique long-fermentation process breaks down the gluten to make the breads more digestible so they mimic a gluten-free bread.

“We have no idea what will happen in future, we can’t be definitive, but since we have the staff to bake this great bread, someone else to manage things, and the customers who want it, we’ll keep making these efforts for now,” said Wiener.

The couple also noted they are hiring and will be open starting Wednesday, April 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lakestone community unveiled in Lake Country

Mayor Baker, MLA Norm Letnick and MP Stephen Fuhr joined in the ceremonial opening

Update: Structure fire reported in Kelowna industrial area put out

A structure fire was reported just after 3:30 p.m. off Sexsmith Road

Kelowna e-scooter company foils downtown robberies

OGO Scooters staff helped return stolen property three times in 1st week of operations

Olympian brings women empowerment in sports to Kelowna

Two-time medalist Natalie Spooner joined the Girls Rock the Rink event

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Hespeler had connection to Mennonite migration

Home in Summerland was built in 1907, moved when the highway was changed

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Letter: Definition issues raised about being Canadian

To the editor: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to comment on U.S.… Continue reading

Most Read