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Friday, July 9, 2010

Scratch Bakery

Prepare yourself. You are about to read and see some delectable desserts, and see me eating them, without any guilt.

Here's my opinion on desserts - you can either go big, or go home. I have no problem trying, tasting, or sampling a delicious dessert, just as long as I do not eat the entire pan.

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on facebook that she just had the best cupcake she had ever eaten at a new bakery in my former college town, Cedar Falls, Iowa. A town that I love, and still miss to this day. Of course, me, being me, asked her about it.

After doing some digging on Scratch Bakery, I contacted the owner, Natalie, and she graciously answered many of my questions regarding her new business. For any of you that have a "dream", just read what Natalie has to say about her bakery...you just might get inspired!

1. When did you dream up the idea for Scratch Bakery?
I've been dreaming about Scratch for a long time in different capacities. Since I was a child baking in the kitchen, I've known I wanted to work with food. Sometimes it took the form of opening my own restaurant, sometimes opening a Bed & Breakfast, sometimes a bakery. As I grew up, I knew I wanted to work in desserts, and that just sort of evolved into Scratch!

2. From the time you thought of this idea to opening day, how long did it take?
Well since I've been thinking about it since childhood, a super long time. :-) But really, it all happened very quickly. I got a call on a Friday about a building coming available, I looked at it that afternoon, and signed the lease on the following Monday. I opened two months later after a full floor-to-ceiling renovation of the building.

3. What is Scratch Bakery's philosophy?
I don't really have a "philosophy" for the bakery, but my goal is to make people happy with awesome desserts. My favorite thing to do is listen to people eat my cupcakes or cookies for the first time and hear the "wow, this is the best cupcake I've ever eaten!"

4. What types of desserts do you offer?
Scratch specializes in a wide variety of cupcakes, giant cookies, bars, and cakes.

5. Is everything, literally from "scratch"?
Sure is! I really try hard to ensure everything that comes out of my kitchen is of the highest quality I can produce. For me, that means using actual flour and sugar - not just opening a box.

6. How do you accommodate customers with dairy or gluten free allergies?
I've been working to develop recipes for gluten-free, diabetic, vegetarian, and vegan diets for some time. Not being any of those things myself, it's hard to decide what's "good" versus, well, not good. So far, I've managed to accommodate lunch options for vegetarian eaters, but I'm still working on dessert. I really want the recipes at Scratch to be my own, and everything takes time!

7. How many employees do you have working at Scratch?
I have 10 part-time gals working for me right now.

8. Do you plan on offering a delivery/internet mail order service?
I've actually shipped my cookies all over the country for a long time, but as far as an internet mail order focus, that may come when I've got more time and more helpers! We don't deliver for a number of reasons, but customers pick up orders all day long!

9. What is your number #1 seller?
I'm not sure we've been open long enough to say I have a #1 seller necessarily...but I can't keep cupcakes in the case regardless of the flavor...and if I'm baking Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies...they're gone gone gone!

10. What has surprised you the most about opening your own business? The least? Surprised me the most: there is always someone willing to spend your money for you. Surprised me the least: Sleep is a privilege, not a right. :-)


I ended up meeting two very close friends at this bakery on Thursday afternoon. Neither of them had been there yet, so all three of us enjoyed a treat. Vanilla cupcake with milk chocolate frosting and sprinkles for me, and gelato for my ladies. I secretly wanted to get gelato AND a cupcake, stir it all together and curl up in a ball, but I didn't want to look like the pig that I really am.

Just look how cute this place is!

Now, if only the small town I live in could support a bakery, and Mr. Trump would give me a business loan, I'd be set.

Unfortunately, I'll live through Scratch, visiting often and eating my way through their desserts. I love supporting local food businesses that are striving to use the best ingredients and of course please the palate.


Now, to all my LOCAL READERS! This means you that live in Iowa or will be visiting (ha, who visits Iowa?). Natalie has extended her cupcake love to you. I will pick one random winner to receive a FREE cupcake of their choice at Scratch Bakery. All you need to do is leave a comment and tell me your FAVORITE cupcake flavor. That's it!

The winner will be chosen randomly on Wednesday, July 14th at 8:00 a.m, so start commenting!

And until then, visit Scratch, and become their friend on Facebook, you'll be happy you did!

Would you like to comment?

  1. Awwww... I wish I lived in Iowa. Looks yummmy!

  2. Even though I had the gelato (and loved it), I really wanna go back and get a cupcake. I'd love to sink my teeth into that little bit of heaven. Yummy!

  3. Chocolate is my favorite flavor of cupcakes!

  4. OMG, I was just on her website and those grasshopper cupcakes look to die for. I usually love a vanilla cupcake but the grasshopper one I just have to try.

  5. as my grandmother says, "if I'm gonna splurge I'm gonna have chocolate!"

  6. I like just about any flavor as long as it's moist and I didn't have to bake it!

  7. This looks like a great bakery, and the owner really sounds passionate and like she has great principles. Wishing I lived in Iowa right about now :)

  8. I agree with dessert. Dive in and enjoy! Good luck to your Iowa raders!

  9. I am a red velvet kind of girl. Love it, but I really love cream cheese frosting even more! Can't wait to check this place out!

  10. Just went there the other day and couldn't decide what to get out of the many tasty options... ended up with the ginormous cookie, but would LOVE to go back to try a cupcake!

  11. I would have to vote for Chocolate!

  12. I love white with raspberry frosting

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