coach house shortbread toronto

Toronto's hidden bakery known for its shortbread is permanently closing

A Toronto shortbread business hidden under the hustle and bustle of the city that's been operating since 1986 has now sadly closed.

Coach House Shortbread Company was known for years for making some of Toronto's most loved artisanal all-butter shortbread, featuring flavours like spicy asiago and garlic or orange and cardamom, rolled up into tubes in iconic colourful paper. The ingredients were always as local and of the highest quality possible.

There's even photographic evidence of Martha Stewart enjoying the shortbread from a few years back. Unfortunately, legacy alone couldn't keep the business alive.

"No business means no money means I can't pay rent," owner Will Coukell told blogTO.

"I'm already sold out as I couldn't bake much as I could not afford the ingredients. I am hopeful that I can move back into the Coach House, as I own it, but at this point I may also be losing my home. I am happy to borrow money to pay back, but the banks et cetera tell me that they are not loaning money as COVID makes it too risky."

Coukell refers to the Coach House behind his home where the business was originally started by his husband Carl Stryg, a former ballet dancer and opera singer, who innovated the original recipes. Coukell continued with the business after Stryg tragically passed away suddenly in 2014.

The cookies were never made on a commercial scale, only ever available at shows, through custom orders and online. In Toronto, you could pick them up in person at a tucked away lower lobby location at 235 Carlaw.

So if you were able to get your hands on Coach House's shortbread treats over the course of the past 30 years, consider yourself lucky. A golden era of cookies in Toronto truly ended when this place had to close its doors.

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