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For the love of baking

Scappoose mom sells her treats - 'always from scratch' - to everyone
by: Ed Johnson BAKING — Darcy McDonald sits in her kitchen by the tools of her trade, which is making cookies and other treats.

Darcy McDonald's kitchen has a secret.

Sure, it's where she cooks. And it's also where her family eats.

But unlike most households, McDonald's cooking space garners regular inspections from the state. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

That's because she runs a small commercial baking operation - called Brown Butter Bakery - right out of her Scappoose home. Being inspected for food safety and dealing with regulatory red tape comes with the territory.

'Starting a home-based bakery is pretty complicated,' McDonald said. 'That's why there's only about a 100 in Oregon.'

Launched last May with a stand at the Scappoose Farmer's Market, McDonald said her business, specializing in things sweet and delicious made with all-natural ingredients, has been fairly successful so far.

'I've always loved to bake, it's just a huge passion,' McDonald said. 'I thought, 'Gosh, it would be great to have a special-order bakery.''

One market of sweet buyers that she's especially focused on is parents. Because the schools require any treats brought in for birthdays or other celebrations to be store-bought, she said, that leaves most people stuck going to Fred Meyer or other grocery stores. She provides a fresher, more natural option. And she delivers right to the school, with food prepared just hours before any particular event.

'That's the nice thing about being small,' she said. 'I can respond quickly.'

McDonald said she often takes orders at the last minute. She can do all sorts of baking, but specializes in cupcakes, cookies, cakes and scratch-made marshmallows, as well as special gluten- and dairy-free orders.

'My main focus is flavor,' she said. 'That's why everything is made from scratch.'

This spring, McDonald plans to go back to the farmer's market and sell her wares. She said she decided to start there because she thought it would be a good way to reach the community. She also hopes to take on more complicated jobs as she gains experience handling more orders.

'I'm still in my first year,' she said, 'so it's a learning process.'


More information

Darcy McDonald can be reached at 503-313-4022 or by visiting www.brownbutterbakery.com

Prices

Cupcakes, $2 each, $20 per dozen

Filled cupcakes, $3 each, $30 per dozen

Mini cupcakes, $1 each, $10 per dozen

Scones, $2 each

Cookies, $1 each, $10 per dozen

Brownies, $1.50 each

Marshmallows, $1 a bag

Mini Loaf Sweet Bread, $2.50