What do a delicious cookie and a secret society have in common? A couple have come up with a unique way to work together and bake treats after losing their jobs during the pandemic.
The Shortbread Society is the creation of Chef Francis Legge and wife Christine.
Francis, known as Scottish Francis, is a former contestant on cooking shows like Master Chef and Chopped, who baked delicious donuts at Astoria's Sugar and Water, until the shop closed last March as coronavirus hit the city.
Christine also lost her job — in the medical field — and the couple turned to baking his grandmother's recipe from the Scottish Highlands for shortbread. It’s the biscuit made from sugar, butter and flour.
"We wanted to do the Shortbread Society and we were going to do it out of the donut shop, but because we both lost our jobs we decided we could not deny people,” said Francis Legge. “We started making it and doing these secret pop-ups, and it really bloomed from there, it's crazy.”
How does it work?
Those seeking shortbread simply go to the Society’s Instagram page and send a message. Then when they are given “membership,” they can order and make payments online. Delivery is provided at pop-ups around the five boroughs.
Shortbread Society has also since signed on with Goldbelly for nationwide delivery of the treats, which may not be like any shortbread folks have tasted before.
"Everybody is used to the shortbread that you find in like aisle three of the supermarket. It's like this tooth-breaking thing, but in Scotland it's this soft, beautiful, buttery, salty experience and it's really fantastic,” said Francis Legge, who added it’s the original cookie.
The experience of creating this sweet society after has been a good one for Francis and Christine.
“I think for so long we were trying to find a thing to do together to showcase our talents and this all came together in one beautiful mix and it's the Shortbread Society,” said Christine Legge.
Find out more on Instagram @ShortbreadSociety or ShortbreadSociety.com.