As mothers we all know that you can’t buy happiness… but you can buy cupcakes, and I bet we can all agree that is pretty much the same thing. A fellow Iowan, Natalie Brown, shares this sentiment and she takes it seriously. Natalie doesn’t mess around when it comes to making people happy through food; in fact that’s what drove her to launch Scratch Cupcakery, a local favorite for adults and children alike.
Over the last seven years Scratch has won the hearts of families across Iowa, one cupcake at a time. If you have tried any of the 260 flavor combinations they offer, you know why! The bakery first started in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and now operates in various locations across the state, including our very own Coralville store in the Iowa River Landing. We love all the goodies at Scratch and had lots of questions for the mastermind behind Scratch Cupcakery, so we sat down with Natalie to pick her brain on all things sweet.
Q&A with Scratch Cupcakery Founder, Natalie Brown
Q: Have you always enjoyed baking?
A: YES! I had a nanny when I was little who loved having me in the kitchen–she taught me all about baking and encouraged my love of making people happy with food. As I got older, I’d bake every day, sending goodies with my parents to work and giving things away all the time! Creating recipes and having people test them are some of my favorite memories as a kid!
Q: What inspired you to start a bakery?
A: I owned a catering company when I was in college and loved the experience of being a part of peoples’ events. Desserts really started to take off and were being ordered more than anything, so that’s where my passion moved to. My “real” job was mostly sitting in front of a computer doing graphic design, and I just didn’t want to do it anymore! I have a “dream” folder and it’s always been a bakery, so I jumped!
Q: What’s your favorite part about running a bakery?
A: People people PEOPLE!! I love a story. I love knowing what people are celebrating and why they chose us to celebrate with! It’s incredible to hear from the people who have been with us from dating to engagement to wedding to baby to baptism to birthdays…it’s such an incredible honor to know of the things we’re a part of! Our Fundraising Program has brought a whole new element to getting to know people–now we can hear what they’re raising money for: mission trips, extracurriculars, and so on. Our staff family is a part of my love for people in a big way. These people are my family and even though we only have them for a short time sometimes, each one has an impact on me.
Q: How do you come up with the all the flavor combinations?
A: So many helpers! People stop in with an idea, or our staff family comes up with ideas. We brainstorm, test flavors, test again…then we launch them. Sometimes they’re based on a dessert someone has had somewhere, sometimes based on a memory of something incredible…each one has a story and we LOVE that part of the job!
Q: How many cupcakes are made each day (in Coralville)?
A: We’ll be a little general and say thousands! It depends on the day–what’s happening in town, what’s happening at the event centers, what day of the week it is, what the weather looks like…everyday is different.
Q: What are the *most* popular cupcake flavors?
A: Wedding Day has always been our top seller, followed closely by Sully. Add in Red Velvet and Peanut Butter Cup right behind. Our Doughlicious line is gaining quick popularity, and cupcakes in our Drunken Cupcake line fly off the counter when they’re on the Baker’s Choice calendar.
Q: What other treats are available at Scratch?
A: We launched our line of cookies, cookie dough, and edible cookie dough early in 2016 and it’s been great! Our Scratch Cupcake Shakes are a top-seller in the summer, and we’re even launching new Scratch Shake options this year, so watch for that!
Q: Does Scratch offer allergen-free options?
A: We have a vegan line we make in-house, and we partner with Sweet Rewards Gluten Free Bakery in Waukee to provide gluten-free and dairy-free cupcakes and other goodies at all of our locations. We strongly believe gluten-free goodies produced in our kitchens just couldn’t be called gluten-free. We use so much of so many gluten-filled ingredients each day that cross-contamination could cause our customers big issues. Our partners are just awesome and help us cater to those with food sensitivities.
Q: Does Scratch offer delivery?
A: Yes! We have daily delivery options and weekend delivery for large orders. We ship all over the United States during cooler months, as well.
Q: Does Scratch take custom orders?
A: Ohhh yes! Our Facebook page has a “custom cupcakes” folder with pictures of many of our custom orders, and I add more all the time! Our decorators’ are talented and we LOVE working on custom orders.
Q: Moms love a good deal–how do you announce specials or deals?
A: We post on social media every morning. If there are special deals they are shared on the Scratch Cupcakery Facebook page!
Today we have a special giveaway just for Iowa City Moms Blog readers! Tell us your favorite Scratch cupcake flavor by commenting on this article on the ICMB Facebook page and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win ONE DOZEN FREE CUPCAKES! Entries will be accepted until NOON on Friday April 21, 2017.
This is a sponsored post. ICMB was compensated for sharing this piece. However, we love connecting our readers with people and organizations that are doing good in our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative!