Scratch Bakeshop opened in 2013 and quickly grew in popularity, in part thanks to social media. In fact, as soon as we sat down to talk to Molly Hartley and Kate Cassles inside their Park Avenue bakery a customer chimed in:
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you own this?” the customer asked.
“We do!” Kate replied.
“I just have to say, I follow you on Instagram and I love your posts. I’m here to order my birthday cake,” the customer explained.
Kate and Molly met while working at a local cafe and bakery. It was Kate’s first job in a bakery and she jumped at every chance she could to help Molly bake, soaking it all in. This meant a lot of 4am mornings baking wedding cakes and lunch conversations about Molly’s dream of one day owning her own bakery. Always the one to jump quickly on an idea, one day Kate suggested they make Molly’s dream happen.
Molly and Kate don’t attribute their success just to social media, but also to the Rochester community. Before opening their shop, they started selling their baked goods at Rochester Brainery’s Brainery Bazaar and teaching cake decorating classes there, too. Victoire, where Kate was also working at the time, started selling their desserts.
“Rochester is a city that has a strong sense of community and small business ownership is huge,” says Kate. “So many people own their own businesses and they’re all young. A lot of people we know in their mid-20s and early 30s have their own businesses and it makes you want to start your own thing. We can do it all, together.”
Once the word about their business started getting out, they launched a Kickstarter for their first space. There weren’t a lot of bakeries offering vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free items at the time and their video, produced by two friends, gave viewers a tour of their future home and a glimpse into what they could expect.
Both women are creative people and can spend a lot of time on decorating. Kate has an art background and their motto has always been that if Kate can create it on paper with paint, they can figure out how to do it on a cookie with food dye.
Creating a decorative 8-inch cake might take 3-4 hours. In fact, just one sugar flower can take up to 30 minutes. “It’s funny because it gets eaten and then it’s gone forever! But it’s so much fun,” says Kate.
While their favorite cakes are the ones that still end of looking like a cake, they love making cakes people get excited about. Having been around for four years now, they’ve gone through life with many of their regular customers: engagement parties, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers, first birthday parties. They love helping them celebrate milestone moments.
“We always tell our employees, this is a happy place. You’re in a bakery, you’re slinging sugar all day,” Kate adds.
Exciting things are in the works for Scratch Bakeshop in 2017. Soon they’ll be moving into a larger space, which they’re currently working on designing. In the meantime, stop by their shop to see it for yourself, check our their Instagram feed, or pop into Hart’s this weekend to grab a free 20oz coffee with the purchase of any Scratch Bakeshop cookie.
By the way….
Did you know that for a limited time you can trade in your Hart’s rewards points for a Scratch Bakeshop gift card? When you use your customer rewards card at checkout, you’ll receive 1 point for each dollar you spend. Once you reach 500 points, you can turn them in at our customer service desk for a $5 Scratch Bakeshop gift card!
Wondering how many points you currently have? Just check the bottom of your receipt the next time you check out to see how many you’ve collected or stop by our customer service desk anytime. If you don’t have a customer rewards card, sign up here.