Following the forced closure of her deli takeaway during the pandemic, Amanda Menzies-Runciman took matters into her own kitchen and set up her own millionaire shortbread business.
If you are familiar with the Perthshire town of Auchterarder you may remember a deli that used to be there, called Nosh.
Owner Amanda Menzies-Runciman was forced to close the business last year due to the pandemic and never saw it re-open due to a family illness.
Instead, she opened a new online-based business making luxurious millionaire shortbread, and it’s been gaining popularity with sweet-toothed foodies these past few months, called Millionaire Moments.
“I owned a little deli takeaway in Auchterarder called Nosh and that was doing very well,” Amanda says. “I was very fortunate and lucky enough to win three ‘best takeaway in Perth and Kinross’ awards in the Scottish Business Awards.
“When lockdown hit, two things happened – we closed, as everyone did, and shortly after that, in the April, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“With Nosh I was working every day and I never got to see him. So I made a decision to close Nosh and start this up instead to give myself more time to see my dad in his last few months.”
Love of shortbread
Starting in August 2020, Millionaire Moments was born from Amanda’s love of making the shortbread treats, which had also been a hit at Nosh.
She adds: “As for doing this, I sold millionaire shortbread at Nosh and it was one of my best sellers. That’s where I started to come up with ideas for different shapes and flavours, so thought I would give that a try as a standalone business.
“I’ve had a lot of the Nosh regulars buying from me and with the website up and running I can now send them all over the UK.”
Amanda has also been able to incorporate many of her favourite ingredients and flavours into her creations, while using higher quality chocolate than is normally associated with millionaire shortbread.
“In terms of the recipe, I just made it up,” she continues. “I had a traditional millionaire shortbread recipe, which I tweaked a little to the way I liked it, such as the salted caramel and the chocolate.
“I just spent some time picking what I considered to be really good-quality chocolates. I do four different kinds of chocolate – I’ve got the Belgian milk chocolate, Belgian white chocolate, the new popular ruby chocolate, which is delicious, and really high-quality 85% cocoa dark chocolate.
“I just spent some time trying different flavours to see what worked and what didn’t – and got myself very fat in the process! I’ve put out there the ones that I’m happiest with.”
Supplying to a restaurant in Auchterarder itself, Amanda is also able to make bespoke orders for weddings, events, parties and just for people to enjoy at home.
“For the little shortbreads, or the ‘mini moments’ as I call them, I supply those to Delivino’s in Auchterarder, which they serve with their coffees. I’ve also catered for events and parties and it’s been wonderful,” she says.
“The boxes can be the customer’s choice of flavours though. I’ve got mix and max boxes so they can choose whatever flavours they want. For the minis I do a box of all 12 of the flavours that I do.
“From that people can decide what they like and then maybe pick their favourites the next time they order.
“I make all of them fresh to order and the amount of time it takes me depends on the orders I have that week. I have my online orders and, through Facebook, I get a lot of orders for local deliveries and collection.
“Plus my Delivino orders are pretty regular every fortnight. It really depends as the seasons do make a difference. It’s a little quiet in the summertime, which you’d expect, but it really picks up during autumn and winter.
“I’m making them in my kitchen at home at the moment, but if it becomes big enough I would like to move into a commercial premises. But my kitchen has been signed off with the council meaning I can work from home.
“I can also offer the shortbreads gluten free, as I have a problem with gluten so would be making them that way for myself anyway.”
Boxes start from £15.00, while ‘mini moments’ are £18. All available from millionaire-moments.co.uk/shop