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Spot o’ Tea?

dining_IvetaScones bring to mind tea time, crumpets and treacle. Since 1999, John and Yvette Bilanko have been selling mixes for these sweet breads to retail customers and restaurants alike. Now they return to their roots with a cafe, showcasing not only their baked goods, but savory fare as well.

Family photos line a wall of the cafe and store. Yvette, a first generation American, is shown on a Vespa outside of her Grandfather’s Tuscan home. Raised in Chicago, the Bilankos married, had children and careers, and in 1991 opened an espresso bar and cafe. They used a scone mix, developed and sold by a group of graduate food science students, which was easily made with just heavy cream instead of butter and eggs. The resulting moist breads were hugely successful. Eventually the Bilankos bought the mix company and moved to Santa Cruz. Three weeks ago they were finally able to open the cafe.

Last week at breakfast, the blackboard offered Oatmeal ($3) with currants and brown sugar, Pasta Salad ($4.50) with capers, artichoke hearts, red peppers and Asiago cheese. My light breakfast, a spinach, mushroom, and cheddar frittata ($3.50) was served with an airy herb biscuit topped with crystallized salt. The coffee Americano ($2.25) was hot and rich.

I couldn’t resist bringing home a selection of scones ($2) with a small jar of Iveta’s Clotted Cream ($2), a thick, white, cow milk spread with an almost nutty cheese-like flavor. Three airy scones, each just sweet enough, were indeed moist. One held tender blueberries, another tart apricots, and the third, cinnamon chips.

At the cafe (or online), you can purchase all-natural scone, muffin, biscuit and cupcake mixes, preserves from B&R Farms as well as Iveta’s line of citrus curds and organic jams, teas, and Italian LaVazza coffee.


Iveta Gourmet Inc., 2125 Delaware Ave., Suite F, 423-5149. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Visit iveta.com

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