Dani Cone--Victoria Lahti.jpg
Victoria Lahti
Part two of our interview with High 5 Pie and Fuel Coffee owner Dani Cone. You can read the first part here .


Grillaxin' With Dani Cone, Part Two

Dani Cone--Victoria Lahti.jpg
Victoria Lahti
Part two of our interview with High 5 Pie and Fuel Coffee owner Dani Cone. You can read the first part here. Check back tomorrow for some sweet pie action from Cone.

So, you're the sole owner of Fuel and High 5. The head honcho. What's that like?

Well, It's definitely a 24/7, 365 kind of job. That's the perk of ownership, I suppose. It keeps me busy, definitely, but it's just one of those things. I love it. It sounds so cheesy, but it's true. It wasn't in my original plan to have multiple shops. I knew I wanted to do a coffee shop, so it started there. But then I had opportunities to start the other locations and well, when you're doing something you love, how can you not do more?

And the pie business?

Well, I'd been thinking about it for about a year and a half before that we started in December of 2008. I was starting to develop the idea, but I put it on hold because I wrote a book on coffee culture. Once that wrapped up, I revisited the pie idea. It wasn't like I had started out with the pie business as a goal. It had been on my mind mostly because I love eating pie.

It's crazy how much I love pie. Really, it's almost shameful. There are some great places to buy pie in Seattle, but it's not super easy. It's not as easy to come by pies as it is muffins and scones. And I thought, pie goes great with coffee, pies would go great in a coffee shop and, of course, I wanted them in my coffee shop, so High 5 went from there.

How did you get started in the coffee world?

I first got started 18 years ago when I worked at a deli that had an espresso machine. That's when I first learned how to make espresso drinks. I was hooked and have been a barista ever since. I honestly love everything about it: crafting and preparing each drink, timing shots for the perfect pull, talking to customers, etc.

What was it like working as a barista as the coffee culture in Seattle continued to grow and sort of explode? Did it just reinforce your desire to have your own shop?

I know: starting a coffee shop. It seems like the craziest thing and my parents thought I was nuts when I was like, "Here's a great idea: How about a coffee shop in Seattle?" It was not my my most novel idea, that's for sure. There's so much great coffee, yes. There's tons of outstanding options for good coffee from people who care about the craft of it. But I'm one of those people who cares about and loves coffee, and from where I stand, there's always room for something good. Competition just pushes everyone to step up their game and take it to the next level and provide customers with the best.

There's endless things to do to make the experience better or different for customers, so of course there's always room. Also there's so many people with such an appreciation for coffee in this town, there's practically a coffee shop for every kind of person.

Let's get back to the pies....how many pies do you go through a day?

Well, it's hard to say. We sell High 5 pies at all three Fuel locations, and then at six or seven other places around town. King's Hardware in Ballard carries our pies, as well as Po Dog on Capitol Hill.

How many types of pie are available each day?

Currently we've got two fruit, one sweet, and three savory.

Tell me about the savory pies. Do they sell well?

Oh my god. They're blowing my mind. They sell like crazy. In the beginning, everyone requested it and I'll admit I was a little skeptical. But then when we tried it, people went nuts for these things. The mac and cheese has been a fun one, and we also just launched a broccoli, mushroom, and cheddar pie. In the future, there will be a tomato, basil and mozzarella pie too. Seriously, people are crazy for these things.

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