For 40 years, the Benson Road Deli has been serving quality food and coffee to a community that regards it as a home away from home. Owner Sonia McConnell says Rawhiti Estate residents and staff are among her regular daily customers.

Some of the favourites on the Benson Road Deli’s menu have been produced by the kitchen every day since Sonia McConnell became the owner 24 years ago.

Regular customers value the certainty that they can order mince on toast whenever they visit because that is what a good café at the centre of its community is all about, she says.

“We want our customers to feel that this place is an extension of their home. It’s familiar, it’s friendly, and it’s consistent. We have regulars who ask for the same thing each time they visit. Our amazing staff ensure they feel welcome, making it a part of their day that is relaxing as well as nourishing.”

Rawhiti Estate is close by, and Sonia says some residents drop in every day while others come when their families or friends are visiting. It’s an easy 15 minute walk, and the large front room is easy to access.

Food trends come and go, but Sonia and her team avoid fads.

“We cater for people who are gluten intolerant – that’s important. Our food during winter is all about comfort – soup is flying out the door, and dishes like spicy beans with chorizo are very popular.

“Of course, a good flat white never goes out of fashion and is something we ensure we always get right.”

Sonia has kindly shared her recipe for one of the Benson Road Deli’s favourites, afghan biscuits, for our recipe of the month.