By her smiling face, and cheery disposition her customers would never know that Emmy Woroby is a tortured soul.
All day long the owner of Emmy’s Bake Shop Inside the Crowsnest Bakery toils away at making her perfectly delicious flavoured shortbread cookies and serving customers her scrumptious homemade lunches.
But the Manitoba native has a secret that’s hard to digest.
“I’m lactose intolerant,” she said. “I can only taste test as I go along. I can’t eat the cookies or I’m in real pain.”
She could make the cookies with margarine so she could eat them but she refuses to sacrifice the flavour for her customers.
From knee-high, Woroby was drawn to the kitchen to bake with her Granny and Mom. They baked everything but their specialty was fresh pies.
“When I was too young to bake they told me to go outside and get blueberries and they’d make me a pie,” she said. “I only ever got chased by a bear once.”
Although she learnt to bake almost everything, her family was never particularly focussed on shortbread.
“I don’t follow some family recipe that I learned from my Grandma. I kind of took a few recipes and put them together and worked on them till I got them where I wanted them,” she said.
About four years ago she decided to try her hand at making shortbread to sell at a local craft sale.
She made the cookies at home with her mixmaster, she said with a laugh.
She did well the first year but the second year she did so well she had to take additional orders.
“It was great. People really loved it.”
Over the years she has developed 11 different kinds of shortbread cookies including lemon, lemon poppyseed, cafe mocha, lavender, Skor, toffee sea salt, chocolate sea salt, peanut buttercup, chocolate mint, chocolate truffle and cranberry.
She does not make unflavoured shortbread.
“Anyone can do that,” she said. “I like to make something different for my customers. Something they can’t make themselves or get just anywhere.”
Although shortbread cookies are considered by many as a Christmastime treat Woroby said that is incorrect.
“Shortbread is Christmas but really there is no bad time to have shortbread.”
Emmy’s Bake Shop is currently taking orders for the Christmas season. She is also preparing for a big craft sale in Kelowna on Dec. 13 and 14. The cookies will come in a roll for $10 and be gift wrapped.
“It makes a really great Christmas gift. It’s so easy too.”
Emmy’s Bake Shop is celebrating its one-year anniversary over Light Up weekend. As customer appreciation she is offering free shortbread with every cup of coffee during the month of December.