Long-time Confratellanza Italo-Canadese member Ramon Benedetti has lived his entire eighty-nine years in or near Benny’s Food Market right in the heart of the Strathcona district; Union Street and Princess Avenue. His mother, Violet Teti Benedetti also resided in the former Little Italy area of Vancouver during her lifetime.
Ray and his wife Irma (nee Miotto) have experienced the story of pioneer Italians who settled in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood. The immigrant adults among them worked at a myriad of labour intensive jobs while their children – including Ramon and Irma – gained their elementary school education at Lord Strathcona and were regular attendees at Sacred Heart Church.
The Benedetti’s provide Canadian and Italian food products direct to their customers as well as at the wholesale level. In addition, they operate an in-store Deli bar which features deliciously fresh and tasty cold cuts. As a result, they have gained the trust and confidence of hundreds – if not thousands of people – during the family’s four generations of service.
Ramon’s father, Alfonso Benedetti, was born in the Province of Chieti, Abruzzo. He purchased the store – originally a soda fountain – in 1917. The success of the enterprise, now a major community grocery store, can be attributed largely to the high degree service and generous assistance given to Italian families during a hundred years of operation while using the motto, “Save Pennies with Benny’s”.
Francesca Benedetti says her father’s humour, storytelling and genuine interest in his customers kept people coming back to the Vancouver store again and again.
Ramon Benedetti, aka Raymond Benny was named Man of the Year in 2017 for Confratellanza Italo-Canadese.
Francesca Benedetti said her father worked in the store until two weeks ago. He went into hospice care on Thursday, and died Friday evening.