South Portland's Scratch Baking taking a break to spread out

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Scratch Baking Co. in Willard Square will be closed for a week starting Tuesday as its owners get ready to open a second location. 

The bakery at 416 Preble St. will be closed Sept. 6-12, when the bagel-making operation will move to the new store at 205 Broadway, according to Scratch’s Facebook page.

After the Broadway location opens and begins production, the Preble Street store will continue to offer customers the same products, including bagels. But the new location, slated to open in late fall, will include a bagel and toast “bar” with a variety of spreads.

The addition will allow the business to streamline its production of bagels by amping up the yield by more than 20 percent, co-owner Sonja Swanberg has said. It will also hopefully streamline the sale of bagels, known to cause lines of people waiting along Preble Street. 

Swanberg, Bob Johnson and Allison Reid opened the bakery at 416 Preble St. about a dozen years ago. She announced in April that Scratch would expand its business to the former Getty service station at Broadway and Sawyer Street. 

The second location, approximately 900 square feet in size, will offer seating for about a dozen people, along with jams, butters, nut butters, hummus, cream cheese and other spreads made in-house. 

In addition to bagels and all the fixings, Scratch offers sweet and savory pastries, pizza and fresh-made sandwiches and spreads.  

Over the years, Swanberg, Johnson and Reid – all South Portland residents – have been approached more than a dozen times with offers to expand and open new locations in places as far south as Wells, Swanberg said.

But they never had the desire to look beyond South Portland.

“We are very focused and tied to this community,” she said in April. Scratch has become a “fixture” in the city and, likewise, “the community is an integral part of who we are and what we do.”

It wasn’t until last fall, when the trio learned about the vacant gas station – about a half a mile away from Willard Square – that they started to seriously consider adding a second location. 

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

Scratch Baking Co., at 416 Preble St. in South Portland, will be closed Sept. 6-12 so bagel-making operations can be moved to 205 Broadway.

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.