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Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

How much would you pay for the per­fect cheese scone?

A $5.50 cheese scone has raised eye­brows – and some ire – on the Ka¯piti Coast but the woman be­hind the baked goods says they’re worth ev­ery penny.

Leigh Healy, owner of High Tide Cafe at Para­pa­raumu Beach, north of Welling­ton, was sur­prised when a dis­grun­tled cus­tomer took to so­cial me­dia to protest against her re­cent price hike but she stands by her scone.

‘‘Our cus­tomers have told us they’re the best scones in Welling­ton.’’

Those cus­tomers flocked to de­fend the cafe, quash­ing price com­par­isons be­tween the beach­side cafe and its Welling­ton City coun­ter­parts.

De­bate raged over the $1 price rise – which works out at 22 per cent – and just how much a cheese scone should cost.

Healy said she had been ner­vous about in­creas­ing the price of her scones but ris­ing costs and con­struc­tion work out­side the cafe left her with no op­tion.

‘‘We’ve sur­vived for months with it look­ing like we were closed, so we had to do some­thing.’’

Qual­ity scones needed qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and, with the ris­ing cost of dairy prod­ucts, a cheesy scone wasn’t cheap to make, she said.

‘‘These are sub­stan­tial and there’s a gen­er­ous amount of cheese in each scone be­cause peo­ple value gen­eros­ity.’’

The com­par­i­son be­tween her cafe and the big-city scone stars like Pravda were un­fair, she said.

‘‘If we were in Thorn­don Quay I’d have four chefs in the kitchen mak­ing cheese scones all day.’’

Feed­back on the price had been mostly pos­i­tive, with some loyal cus­tomers sug­gest­ing it should have been raised a long time ago.

The scones came about through an ‘‘amaz­ing mis­take’’ when the cafe opened over four years ago.

‘‘We were in such a panic when we opened that we used pa­prika in­stead of cayenne pep­per, but peo­ple kept com­ing and we had to get the scones out.’’

That day, cus­tomers de­clared them the best scones ever and the recipe had never changed.

‘‘It’s a mod­ern day tragedy when we run out.’’


Owner Leigh Healy and chef Andy Shaw at High Tide Cafe in Para­pa­raumu Beach, with their $5.50 cheese scones.

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