Alumni Profile—Natalie Brown
posted on Monday, January 9, 2017 in
Natalie Brown, a 2004 Hawkeye graduate, has been acknowledged for her success by Waterloo Courier in the Best of the Best competition, named Waterloo Couriers distinguished list of 20 under 40 Community Leaders and the 2013 Cedar Valley Tourism Business Organization of the Year. This young entrepreneur had just the right recipe for turning a childhood dream into a successful business adventure.
Natalie’s dream was to open a corner bakery - Scratch. To Natalie’s surprise, her bakery was a huge success and immediately it was too small. Just over a year later, Scratch Cupcakery opened downtown Cedar Falls. Seven months later, a store opened in Waterloo. The following year, 2 additional stores opened West Des Moines and Coralville. A small dream that started with 15 employees has grown into a successful adventure with multiple locations.
“Scratch was born from a love of making people smile. Since I was little, I've loved to bake for other people...I loved creating recipes and sharing my ideas and experiments with anyone who would try. Today, I still love that process!”
Natalie was the keynote speaker for Hawkeye’s spring 2013 graduation ceremony. “During my time at Hawkeye I became a person. I became a student of life—not just a student in the classroom.” Natalie chose Hawkeye when she was in the midst of really not knowing what she wanted to do with her life. “Hawkeye was a really hands-on, personal environment that worked for me and what I needed to learn Hawkeye was my first chance to be a name, be known, and know others.“
Natalie offers advice to current students. “Lots of students come to Hawkeye with a plan in mind, but it’s that first semester at school when you have the opportunity to try a little of everything. Just because you’ve never done it before doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it or won’t be good at it. Don’t look at it as losing time in school - give yourself a break and enjoy the process of learning and trying new things!”
Learning every day continues today for Natalie. Every day is different. Her learning curve remains at an all-time high and she love the process.
Natalie has received numerous awards including Top Brand in Iowa (2014); Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Junior Achievement (2014); Iowa Entrepreneur, IPTV (2016); numerous local business awards in the Cedar Valley, West Des Moines, and Coralville - best bakery, best cupcakes, best dessert shop, etc.