I’ve been missing Maine, my favorite dachshund Iggy and my pal Zina Glazebrook lately, unable to make the trek north this summer as I normally would. Don’t get me wrong, we at adroyt feel lucky that we are so busy dreaming up powerful strategy and creating content for our clients but I miss the visits to the rocky coastline Zina has chosen to call home. One of the spots she shared with me before she moved up to the mid-coast region is South Portland, a neighborhood that exudes a mix of peacefulness and playfulness. The waves lapping the shore when storms are far out to sea always lulled me into a relaxed frame of mind, even while the pet-friendly beach held a veritable canine carnival. From sunrise to sunset, dogs gleefully chase balls and sticks, sliding precariously on wet sand, leaping into the air as if buoyed by the breeze or diving fearlessly into the chilly water without a moment’s hesitation.
Powerful Strategy in Artisanal Baked Goods
Set like a gem on top of a hillside near the tallest point in the locale is Scratch Baking Company. Not only do the aromas of baked goods draw the human residents within its proximity to Willard Square, the dog treats made from “scratch” mean it’s a revered destination for the four-legged Willardians, many of which you will see lolling on the sidewalk at the end of knotted leashes, anxiously awaiting their owners’ hands reaching out with these delicacies resting there.
I described my fascination with the place and the bakery to my friend Rufus Dogg, who just happens to have quite the sweet tooth (and, coincidentally enough, was born in Maine). He “got it,” and before I knew it he was reaching out to one of Scratch Baking’s owners, Bob Johnson, to talk about the baking, the vibe, and the publication he and his business partners produce several times a year, Baker’s Notes.
His audio interview is well worth hearing, as it reflects the heartfelt attitude with which the trio approaches the business and the fun the three of them seem to have as they create artisanal items I’ve seen make foodies swoon. I loved the point Rufus’ son made, which he shares in the audio clip. When he voiced his question as to what ROI the entrepreneurs could possibly receive by publishing their journal, Christian said, “They’re just creating the world they want to live in.” Bob said he pretty much nailed their perspective.
Powerful Strategy Born of Authenticity
“We’re still having a blast,” Johnson, a co-founder of Magic Hat Brewing Company before bringing Scratch Baking into being, added; “in the last nine years, I can’t think of a day I felt I didn’t want to be here: it’s a gift.” The neighborhood, the delectable food, the chill attitude, the friendliness of so many of Willard Beach’s residents and the ability to beachcomb are all gifts I’ve received from this small outpost nestled into the great state of Maine. I’ve spent untold hours searching the shoreline for beachglass, one of my favorite therapeutic activities; and I’ve relished Scratch Baking’s Deep South Coconut Cream Cake as the sun sets over the water.
I’m seeing a trend in this company and this community that I would like to advance, which is why I’m publishing this piece. I celebrate Bob Johnson and his partners Sonja Swanberg (also his wife) and Allison Reid for creating and refining a culture that nurtures and heartens. Yes, it takes a village but any given whole is merely the sum of its parts so if the quality doesn’t exist in those fragments, excellence won’t be present in the ensemble. What if each of us set out to create lives we love, to fashion offerings others cherish, and to communicate the fact we adore our world and those in it, whether we do so between the covers of beautifully designed journals or framed within brightly lit retina displays (or both)?
This is a perfect example of what we at Adroyt mean by leaving a legacy, and we salute the founders of Scratch Baking Company for branding themselves so beautifully—as we say, execution is everything!
Text of Powerful Strategy by Scratch Baking Company © adroyt, all rights reserved. This post was written by Saxon Henry, the founder of adroyt. Saxon is an author, poet and digital strategist whose books include Anywhere But Here, Stranded on the Road to Promise and Four Florida Moderns. She also maintains The Diary of an Improvateur.