Local Authority: Upper Crust

By Seattle Mag

December 31, 1969

A local coffeehouse maven takes her offerings up a notch with High 5 Pies

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of Seattle Magazine.

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Category: Eat + Drink Articles


Dani Cone is one passionate pie lady. After opening Fuel Coffee in 2005, the Seattleite branched into the pie-making business last December with High 5 Pies. Why pie? Cone, 32, argues pie isn’t just for dessert—it’s delicious any time of the day, especially with your morning joe. Her handmade pies ($12/7-inch pie; sold whole only), which she perfected with advice from family and friends, have an all-butter crust (her granny’s recipe) and use all natural ingredients. Cone (with her two pie-making assistants) also serves up a handheld version, called a flipside ($3.75), for sweet tooths on the go. The tasty pastries are available at all Fuel Coffee shops (multiple locations, including Montlake, 2300 24th Ave. E; 206.328.0700; high5pie.com), and Cone is working on rolling out a wholesale business in the near future. We spoke with the woman whose job is easy as pie. 

Do you remember the first pie you ever ate?
My grandpa makes these amazing fruit tarts, and my grandmother makes amazing pie. They used to live on Bainbridge Island [and] we would go over there as kids and pick blackberries with my grandma and make blackberry pie. 

How did you come up with the idea for handheld pies?
Everybody, even if they hate to admit it, is attracted to those Hostess pies or the apple pie at McDonald’s. We wanted to do something that was just as easy to eat, but with all natural ingredients and made from scratch. 

What pies are you planning for spring?
We’re doing a lot with cherries. I’m leaning toward a raspberry, lemon and mint pie. Or a raspberry, lemon, ginger. Or, blueberry. And some creative peach recipes!

What pie pairs best with these coffee drinks?
Americano: An apple crumb; that’s classic Americana—pie and coffee. 
Soy latte: This is a Pacific Northwest drink, so I would pair it with my Oregon berry mix pie.
Chai tea: Our winter seasonal, which is our pear/cranberry/ginger. Our chai at Fuel has some ginger in it…so they bring the flavors out of each other.
Cappuccino: Lemon meringue. If you like the foam of a cappuccino you would like the light fluffiness of the meringue.

Have you concocted any unusual pies? 
I am really excited about our pies in little jars (the shape and size of a cupcake), called “Weekenders,” featured Friday through Monday. You can buy them frozen and bake whenever you want—your own little pie for one. 

What’s your pie-making process?
Although we use pretty simple ingredients, it’s challenging. There are a lot of little nuances. Each filling has its own personality that you have to get to know and learn how to work with. You have to ask yourself, are we dealing with the pears today or the berries? What are they like? We have to meet them all over again.


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