Sydney scone delivery aims to bring a bit of joy to lockdown

Isabella Highfield at The Sunday Baker with scones, jam and cream for delivery.
Isabella Highfield at The Sunday Baker with scones, jam and cream for delivery. Photo: Brook Mitchell

Sydneysiders looking to break up the day during lockdown with a spot of Devonshire tea can now have fresh scones, jam and cream delivered to their door courtesy of Petersham's Sunday Baker cafe.

"When the Sydney-wide lockdown was announced on June 26, I just went and sat in the car and cried for a while," says Jacqueline Highfield, who runs The Sunday Baker with her twin daughters Isabella and Adelaide.

"Afterwards, I went back into the store and said to Isabella and 'right – we're going to push the scones on Instagram'. They're nice and comforting and we can bake to order at an affordable price point. You don't know what people's financial circumstances are going to be like during lockdown."

The Sunday Baker's old-fashioned scones served with chantilly cream and strawberry rose jam.
The Sunday Baker's old-fashioned scones served with chantilly cream and strawberry rose jam. Photo: Brook Mitchell

For $35, the Highfields are delivering six old-fashioned scones with chantilly cream and strawberry rose jam to anywhere in the inner west and eastern suburbs. (A delivery fee for suburbs further afield starts at $10.) Customers can order through The Sunday Baker website or direct message on its Instagram before 10pm for next-day delivery.

"We're not set up for Uber Eats and [the online delivery platforms] take too much of a cut from each sale anyway," says Highfield. "We'll just head out and do the deliveries ourselves after the cafe closes at midday. It's a feel-good operation that can hopefully keep us afloat."

The Stanmore Road small business is also delivering a $55 mixed box of baked-that-day treats that might include lemon tart, passion fruit slice, or an Iced VoVo-inspired coconut cake.

Peach, rosemary and brandy jam from The Drunken Sailor Cannning Co.
Peach, rosemary and brandy jam from The Drunken Sailor Cannning Co. Photo: Supplied

Meanwhile, jam for the scones is made by Justin Arnoux of Drunken Sailor Canning Co. in Dulwich Hill. The preserve producer is delivering his own small-batch goods to get through lockdown too.

"Last week I drove to Rouse Hill just to deliver one jar," says Arnoux, who is offering free jam and relish delivery within 25 kilometres of Dulwich Hill with no minimum order.

The majority of Arnoux's revenue comes from selling boutique spreads such as pear, vanilla and whisky jam to restaurants and cafes. He says when lockdown was implemented last year and the wholesale side of his business took a hit, an increase in online retail sales "evened things out".

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"But this lockdown is different," says Arnoux. "Food service sales have all but disappeared again, but retail hasn't really increased.

"The first lockdown was full of people baking bread and posting dishes on social media, but it seems like there's a lot less of that this time. I think everyone is over it because we thought we were so close to the end."

Highfield is continuing to keep The Sunday Baker open for takeaway coffee, cake and brunch in the mornings, but says business has dropped by more than 70 per cent.

"People are hunkering down and doing the right thing in our area, but that inevitably means less foot traffic. We feel a real responsibility to our baristas and chef to stay open, however, and hopefully bring a bit of joy to the community."

Five more stay-at-home orders for afternoon tea

Black Star, various locations

The home of strawberry watermelon cake is now delivering daily to Sydney's metro, west and northern suburbs for a flat rate of $9 or free for orders over $100. A fluffy yuzu chiffon sponge ($65) garnished with coconut chips is a nifty idea for any lockdown birthdays. Order by 3pm at blackstarpastry.com.au for next day delivery.

Hanlip, Parramatta

This colourful cake shop usually requires three days notice for orders, but patient customers are rewarded with excellent pistachio macarons, mochi rolls, fluffy matcha dacquoise and cheesecake tarts. Delivering widely across Sydney from Hurstville to Hornsby; visit hanlipdessert.com for ordering and suburb delivery times.

La Pav, Brookvale

French-born pastry chef Johann Vanier makes beautiful pavlovas from Wednesday to Sunday and delivers throughout the Northern Beaches, North Shore and some suburbs south of the Bridge. A new pav creation launches this weekend featuring chai tea ganache and blood orange garnished with marigold flowers ($12.50 for an individual serve; $70 for large). Order by 7pm at lapav.com.au for next day delivery.

The Daily Greek, Earlwood

Specialising in tsoureki (traditional Greek brioche) this Earlwood dessert shop is also popular for portokalopita orange syrup cake, baklava, mosaiko biscuits and feta cheese pies. Daily delivery to surrounding suburbs available through Uber Eats and Deliveroo.

The Grounds, Alexandria

Available Friday to Sunday, The Grounds has created a luxe high-tea box ($64 for two) starring cured salmon and creme fraiche on brioche, cucumber tarts, poached chicken sandwiches, mini pink lamingtons and many more two-bite treats. Also note the DIY s'mores kit available for backyard camping missions. Delivery available across inner Sydney suburbs; visit thegroundscatering.com.au to order.