By Cynthia Gellis
Born and raised in Long Beach, Deborah Hirt has lived in Belmont Heights for 26 years. She feels that the neighborhood hasn’t changed much; it continues to be a wonderful place to live with a strong sense of community. Since opening Scratch Baked Goods in November of 2011, her connection to and appreciation for the neighborhood has only grown.
When asked how her business has changed over the past nine years, Deborah says that the bakery has always been about listening to customer requests and changing things up, it’s just the way she runs her business. One change over the years has been the increase in custom cake orders, particularly wedding cakes. Another recent development is interest in vegan options. The bakery makes vegan cakes by special order and stocks at least one vegan item every day.
Some things haven’t changed. Scratch still serves Rose Park Roasters local, bicycle-delivered coffee. And one of their best-selling, and most-requested items continues to be the Kouign-Amann, an irresistible combination of sweet, sticky, salty, buttery, flakey, crispy, and tender that is widely accepted as one of the world’s greatest pastries. Scratch carries both a sweet and savory version of this labor-intensive pastry.
Other classic best-selling items include butter cake, lemon bars, doughnut muffins, and ham-and-cheese pretzel croissants. The bakery stocks no less than thirty items each day, including four to six cakes available by the slice.
During the stay-at-home order, Scratch began offering take-and-bake cookie dough. When she was able to source eggs, butter, milk, flour, and yeast, Deborah would make those much sought-after items available to purchase as well. And because children couldn’t get out to see the Easter bunny, Scratch hired him to deliver all their Easter orders.
As things began to get back to normal, the bakery was able to permit customers inside one at a time (as opposed to curbside pick-up only). The volume of custom orders has remained fairly consistent, the main difference being a shift to smaller cakes.
Fun fact: Scratch Baked Goods uses ninety to one hundred pounds of butter every week.
Scratch Baked Goods
3950 East 4th Street, Long Beach, 90814