Locally owned Scratch Cupcakery expanding to Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Locally owned Scratch Cupcakery expanding to Waterloo


A small business owner is preparing to launch a second retail outlet of her popular Cedar Falls store.

Natalie Brown opened Scratch Cupcakery just two years ago, hoping to turn her life passion into her livelihood.

"I had been in marketing and design for a decade, and just knew I was supposed to do something else. And I just loved baking and did a whole lot of catering stuff in college," said Brown.

She literally started the business from "scratch." In just two years, she's jumped from a small corner store, to a massive space -- which is still filled with customers every day.

"We lovingly refer to them as Little Scratch and Big Scratch," Brown joked.

Brown's cupcakes are in such high demand, even "Big Scratch" can't keep up. This week, to the delight of many of her customers, she announced plans to open a second store near Crossroads Mall in Waterloo.

"Just to be able to meet a market we can't right now, bridge the gap between Cedar Falls and Waterloo, and just get the product in some new hands," said Brown.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber is pleased to see the small business not only grow, but thrive, in the community.

"I think it is a testament to entrepreneurship in its best example. We'd like to say every project is going to reach the success of Natalie's, but sometimes it doesn't work," said Lisa Rivera Skubal of the GCVA&C.

Skubal oversees Commercial and Industrial Development for the GCVA&C. She points out, the success of Scratch Cupcakery came during one of America's most challenging economic times. But business owners like Brown may be exactly what pulls the economy back in the black.

"A lot of growth we're going to see coming out of the recession will be within our entrepreneurial community, budding entrepreneurs," said Skubal.

The GCVA&C is working to encourage those budding entrepreneurs with greater education and exposure to start-up programs in the Cedar Valley.

"The resources aren't there to fund the project. But they're there to help them be successful and leverage their money with conventional funding or small business loans," said Skubal.

Brown isn't ready to call herself a success... yet. But with fifty employees already on her staff, cupcakes flying out of the store, and hints of more locations coming in the future, it's safe to say she's moving in the right direction.

"I think we can look at it and say -- we're doing a good thing here. I don't know, a year from now we'll see what else is in the works!" she said.

Click here to learn more about Brown and her business.

Click here to learn more about the Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley contest for budding small business owners. The contest launches this fall, with the winner receiving $5,000 to jumpstart their small business.

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