Hawkeye Graduate Receives 20 Under 40 Honor

By: Pat Kinney, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Date Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Natalie Brown
20 Under 40 Recipient

Owner of Scratch Cupcakery and Sweet Basil Market

Associate of Arts in Business Administration from Hawkeye Community College

Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from Upper Iowa University

Natalie Brown: Giving and Growing From ‘Scratch’

CEDAR FALLS — Natalie Brown has a “cupcake” job — literally.

That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily been easy. She’s had a lot of help on the way and is more than willing to “pay it forward” to her community and her employees, many of whom are University of Northern Iowa students.

Her business, Scratch Cupcakery, is expanding its presence in eastern and central Iowa. Located in expanded space in the 300 block of the Cedar Falls Parkade where a Hallmark store once stood, the business is growing, looking to set up a location in West Des Moines before year’s end and another yet-to-be disclosed location in Iowa next spring.

It’s been kind of a whirlwind expansion,” Brown said of her present Parkade site, which opened the day after Thanksgiving. “We did all of our remodel ourselves. ... That day was really insane.”

It was a six-figure financial investment and a significant expansion in staff.

“When I left ‘Little Scratch,’ “ the original downtown site in the 100 block of West Second Street, “we had maybe 15 employees. And now we’re over 60.”

That includes workers at the Waterloo location in the Crossroads “Mini” location on Flammang Drive.

“Most of my employees are college students, which is fantastic for me,” she said. “I love being able to invest in someone that age. People invested in me, so I invest in them.” Work hours are structured around classes. ”I really love hiring people that really don’t have any experience, and we can train them. They get to learn a new skill, so the benefit of that is great for those people. Read more...

Photo by Matthew Putney, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.