Charmed gifts at Bene

SWEET TOOTH San Benito Bene offers chocolates as well as other locally made products, including bath and kitchen items. Photo: Jenny Arbizu

Kathina Szeto has only lived in Hollister for 12 years, but her store, San Benito Bene, has been thriving since its opening seven years ago.

Part of its success is its Hollister location—on San Benito Street, in the midst of coffee shops, organic restaurants and wine bars—and it also draws in shoppers looking to purchase local products.

“We’re a locally inspired gift shop,” Szeto says.

Perusing the charming shop, visitors will delight in the array of items for sale—and to see many are local.

Anyone looking for bath products will find goat milk lotions, body butters and healing bath salts. There are also toys made in Hollister, and locally made jewelry, chocolates and pottery.

Hollister residents will also find the coveted Progresso Tamale Parlor Mexican Restaurant cookbook, as well as Hollister history books.

The store’s culinary section features award-winning olive oils that come in a variety of flavors.

Spices, gourmet mustards, smoked ketchup, tea leaves, apricot preserves, local honey, olives are also sold.

Custom baskets can be made for any occasion.

“People want to gather products, especially local products, that they can give to their friends and families,” Szeto says. “We just want to listen to what it is we can provide the service for.”

San Benito Bene is located at 615 San Benito St. in Hollister. Store hours are Mon. through Fri. 10am-6pm, and Sat. 10am-5pm. For more information, visit sanbenitobene.com or call 831.638.1188.

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