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Scratch Bakes Lives Up To Its Name With Custom Cupcakes Made From Scratch, and With Love

By Pamela Sosnowski

When customers walk into downtown Ephrata's Scratch Bakes, owner Laura Will wants them to feel like they're in a familiar, welcoming place.

"My goal for Scratch is that it stays exactly in the same vein that it started in: a welcoming extension of my home," she said. "You know that warm hug you get from a parent when you get home from school? That's what we want people to feel at Scratch. A sense of welcoming, we're glad you're here, you have value, and we hope to see you again soon."

Of course, the gourmet cupcakes and other treats that Will and her crew bake from scratch (hence, the inspiration for her shop's name) help, too. Since 2012, Will has been creating custom cupcakes and cakes, first out of her home in Ephrata, with the assistance of her mother's Kitchenaid mixer and home appliance oven.

"I have always had a love for food and hospitality," recalled Will. "I've worked in just about every job role in the restaurant and baking industry, so finding my way around the kitchen was a natural progression for me. I never dreamed that anyone would want to purchase cakes and cupcakes from me, but once I started getting requests, I was more than happy to oblige."

When customers started to park their cars on her street to pick up orders, she moved into her first storefront in Brickerville. Less than a year later Will and her husband moved their operation to a larger space in Ephrata. In addition the baked goods the shop started offering soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, coffee, and more in 2015.

Scratch Bakes likes to rotate its cupcake offerings with seasonal flavor combinations in addition to a regular line-up of classic concoctions that are always available. Some of these standard flavors include triple chocolate, peanut butter lover, salted caramel, and pup cups, which are cupcakes garnished with a bone-shaped treat that are exclusively for canine customers. Specialty flavors include the Autumn Bomb, a pumpkin spice cake with a white chocolate cream cheese center topped with maple buttercream and roasted glazed pecans, and the Holiday Dessert, a candied yam cake topped with spiced buttercream and marshmallow. All items are made without cake mixes, vegetable shortening, and other ingredients common in some bakeries.

Will and her Scratch Bakes team also offer catering services; their menu is available for birthday parties, corporate events, showers, and any other kind of private gathering. Custom cakes can be ordered for birthdays, weddings, and any special location.

Scratch Bakes is filled with natural light, is family-friendly, and features additional seating in a downstairs area. Being located in Lancaster county, it offers a welcoming space to grab a bite and a beverage after a day of sightseeing in the Amish area of Pennsylvania. When asked what makes her products and bakery stand out, Will's answer is straightforward.

"It might sound cliche, but they really are made with a lot of love, effort, and care," she said. "The heart behind what we do, why we do it, and how much we care about the people who come through the door is the secret ingredient. We sprinkle a little of God's love in each item we sell whether you can taste it or not, it's there."

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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