House of Bennys Brings Breakfast to Poland
POLAND, Ohio – Sonya Diaz was cuddling her 4-year-old Great Dane dog, Benny, when she realized he would make the perfect mascot for a restaurant. After brainstorming ideas, she eventually settled on “House of Bennys” – a play on both the dogs name and eggs benedict.
The restaurant at 122 S. Main St. had its grand opening Wednesday – just three and a half months after the initial idea.
Diaz says she has taken a lot of inspiration from other restaurant owners during her roughly 34 years in the food service industry.
“I have a lot of years experience in the restaurant business,” she said. “I am very thankful for every owner I ever worked for.”
The restaurant offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, build your own smoothies, a kids menu and most notably, eggs benedict. Each eggs benedict is also available in a sandwich variation. For this reason, Diaz said she also plans to eventually get a second pet dog named Sammy as an additional mascot and play on words.
Benny wasn’t Diaz’s only passion that she wanted to include in her restaurant. The new restaurant owner says she also has a passion for art.
“Everything I do, I do with art and love,” said Diaz. “I do paint [although] my art is more of meditation.”
Diaz decided to fill her restaurant with the work of other small artists, in hopes of giving them recognition and selling their work straight from the walls.
“I hope to sell their art for them and have revolving artwork on the walls,” said Diaz. “[I want] to be a place where people want to come – where they want to view it as well as eat the food and have a place to be.”
In addition to celebrating the opening of her business, Wednesday also marked her birthday.
Currently, about 12 people are on staff, many of whom are still going to school in Poland or recently. After posting an ad on Facebook, Diaz says she found her “HOB family.”
“My goal is to make House of Bennys tri-state – Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said Diaz. “I will be offering franchise opportunities once we get through all of the little nicks.”
In future expansions, Diaz says she plans to incorporate a dog patio, where a menu specifically for dogs will be available.
The current building was acquired at the end of May. Diaz says she plans to monitor customer feedback for a month.
“I am so thankful,” said Diaz. “This building itself has been in the Wittenauer family for many generations, so I hope to create that family feel in the community of Poland.”
The restaurant is open every day from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is that if you have the dream and you have the passion and the desire, you just go ahead and make it happen,” said Diaz.
Pictured above: The House of Bennys staff cuts the ribbon during the grand opening with restaurant mascot and namesake, Benny the Great Dane.
Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.