Born in 1979, Natalie Brown has grown her cupcake empire relatively quickly with her first store opening in 2010 in Cedar Falls. She received her Associate of Arts Degree from Hawkeye Community College and Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy from Upper Iowa University. Prior to opening Scratch Cupcakery Natalie was a graphic designer for Orchard Hill Church and a free-lance designer for events such as Sturgis Falls 5K and Grant Wheeler Memorial Run. Natalie has been recognized for her success as a recipient of the Waterloo Courier’s “20 Under 40” list in 2012 and the Cedar Valley Tourism’s Business of the Year award in 2013.
For Natalie it’s not about the cupcakes, it’s about her passion for people and being a part of their special moments in their lives. Natalie has started to see repeat customers for their milestone events, from Prom Date Asks and graduations to engagements and baby announcements.
Natalie’s philosophy about work is that it should be fun. If it’s not, figure out why it isn’t and fix it. Her greatest sense of pride comes from Natalie’s financial wherewithal to invest in others. When she hires people, she doesn’t hire them for specific positions; Natalie hires them because she can see that they are gifted in some way.
Philanthropy for Natalie has always been important; Scratch sponsors many community events from breast cancer awareness to the animal shelter to the Boys and Girls Club. Each quarter Scratch employees volunteer to participate on a committee to decide on the donations and community events in which the stores will participate. In addition, at the end of the day, if there are cupcakes left over, non-profit organizations receive a call, including retirement centers, churches, homeless shelters and Hospice Centers.
Natalie plans to continue to Make People Smile, One Cupcake at a Time.