The Shirley Biscuit is well-loved throughout the Caribbean, and has won over hearts in South and North America, as well as the United Kingdom.
What makes Shirley extra special is that its creation was not plotted and planned in advance like many new products, but began its life speedily back in 1952.
It was 61 years ago, and the West India Biscuit Company (WIBISCO) was looking for a brand new biscuit. The then General Manager saw creative stagnation coming from the production line, and craved for something fresh to offer consumers. He gave Ted Hoad, his operations manager, an ultimatum: “get me the best biscuit by Monday, or you’d better find a new job”.
This demand may have intimidated any other soul, but Ted Hoad was the right man for the task! With his livelihood under threat, he went into his prayer closet and came out with the idea of with the best new biscuit. After all, Ted had to be sure he had found the best biscuit… his job counted on it. He went on to immediately develop a very special recipe, one that has become a Caribbean classic.
After a trial run, and when he was satisfied, he presented the little cookie to his boss who was very pleased. Even the big boss in Trinidad, Mr. Belle liked it. All that was left was to name the brand new biscuit.
At the time the tasty biscuit was invented, there was a lady working in the office named Shirley. She was a particular sweet lady, and so it was decided that the biscuit would be named after her. With the right recipe, the right name and the right picture, Shirley was put into production. Shirley Biscuits quickly became so popular that Shirley was soon exported regionally and then internationally.
Today, Shirley graces the shelves of supermarkets and shops in more than 20 markets around the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Of course, its red packaging has been revamped over the years, but that little house and flowers design, together with the traditional Shirley taste remain the same.
Three new ‘cousins’ were added to the Shirley family during the last five years. In December 2003, Shirley Coconut was introduced. It contains real coconut and has a delightful, tropical flavor. Shirley Ginger was launched in November 2007 with a warm Caribbean ginger flavor. Most recently, Shirley Wheat Crunch has debuted, in the summer of 2013.