Dining Reviews

Café Iveta

Foodie-FileTucked away on the Westside, Café Iveta is famous for its scones

Café Iveta is a hidden gem—as in, it’s actually kind of hidden, and you might not know about it if you’re not standing right in front of it. They sell coffee, breakfast and sandwiches, and most importantly, their signature scones. Since 1998, Iveta has been selling its scone mixes to stores, and the cafe, which opened in 2010, was originally opened as a tasting room for them, before it became a successful little spot on its own. GT interviewed Danielle Bilanko, vice president of operations about their café, their upstairs art room and, of course, those delightful bakery items of theirs.

GT: What’s so special about your scones?

DANIELLE BILANKO: The scones have a slight crunch on the outside, and they’re really soft on the inside. When people think scones, they think, “oh they’re going to be dry and hard,” and ours aren’t. We do really unique flavors. Our most popular is lavender white chocolate. Pumpkin spice is a really good one. We also don’t load in a lot of sugar, so they’re not overly sweet. If you want to put lemon curd or jam on it, it’s a nice treat. They are traditional English cream scones. They’re really easy to make. We were on Oprah’s “O” list. We change the scones seasonally. We do about eight a day at the café. We also have a gluten-free scone and a vegan scone.

What’s up with the art upstairs?  

We participate in First Fridays. In our upstairs loft there are some lounge seats. All the walls change every month with a new artist’s work. We stay open on First Friday till about midnight, and we have an opening party, and the art is up all month. Anyone can go up and check it out.

Why are you so hard to find?

Having to have a warehouse as well, it actually works out pretty nice. The café is about 600 square feet. The whole space is about 10,000 square feet. So when you walk into the back, that’s where we make all of our mixes. It actually worked out nicely because we’re so close to the water, and then there was going to be all this development across the street that was hopefully going to bring in more foot traffic. We haven’t done too much advertising. Everything’s been word of mouth. Every year it just keeps growing and growing. It’s been great.

2125 Delaware Ave., Santa Cruz. 423-5149.


GAME OF SCONES Danielle Bilanko, vice president of operations at Café Iveta, with a plate of their famous scones. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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