The Esther Gould Story
In the beginning there was Esther Gould and there was Mandelbroit. Every Jewish family had someone who baked Mandelbroit. It was a tradition. Mandelbroit says family, home and hand-made with love. There are a million versions of Mandelbroit. Some are very old school (made with traditional ingredients) and are some more modern (made with cornflakes or rice crisps). Esther Gould makes hers the old fashioned way.
When Esther’s mother passed away in 1930. Esther became the head of the household. She cooked for her father and her young brothers. She found a recipe in the Naomi Cookbook for Mandelbroit. She tried the recipe and it was awful. So she changed it and changed it and changed it. She played with the recipe until she felt it was right.
No longer coarse, Esther Gould's Finest Mandelbroit Cookies are delicate, rich in flavor, low in sugar, have no trans fats and are all natural. They are often described as a cross between shortbread and biscotti.
All through her marriage and the growth of her own children Esther Gould baked Mandelbroit. Everyone loved it. Her husband Joseph Gould, lawyer and Alderman for the City of Toronto and subsequently a Member of Parliament, always wanted her Mandelbroit served when entertaining dignitaries in their home. People often told Esther that she should go into business selling her Mandelbroit.
Whenever Esther Gould was asked for the recipe she gave it willingly and freely. However no one could recreate her unique taste. That is until her daughter Corinne Gould began to make Mandelbroit. Having spent years at the side of the master, Corinne learned all the subtle nuances of making Esther Gould’s Mandelbroit Cookies.
Corinne Gould’s friends and family began to request Esther Gould’s Mandelbroit at their special functions. Often Corinne was asked, "Can you make it with hazelnuts instead of almonds. My son is allergic or can you make it nut free." "I love lemon. Have you ever tried lemon and poppy seed or how about chocolate?" And so a variety of new flavours were created. But the basics remained the same.
As an artist and jewellery designer, baking cookies was the last thing Corinne ever thought she would do. But in the early 90’s when jewellery was out of favour in the fashion industry, Corinne began to bake cookies and serve them at her exhibitions. Her clients kept coming back for more. Once again the words "You should go into business." were heard.
In 2002 Esther Gould's Finest was born. Corinne and her husband Jack Orsi began to sell their Mandelbroit at the St.Lawrence Market. For 4 years they tried many different flavours until they decided upon flavours that were just perfect. During those years they developed quite a following. Often mistaken for biscotti the phrase "Better than Biscotti™" became their trademark.
In 2005 Esther Gould’s Finest began showing at The One of a Kind Show. The response to their cookies was phenomenal. After renting kitchen space for years, in 2006 Corinne and Jack built their own kitchen to produce Esther Gould's Finest Mandelbroit Cookies. As they say "the rest is history."