By Michelle M. Sharp, Founder and Content Creator of Meet the Minnesota Makers

Matt Rosen of Sergeant Shortbread doesn’t sit still. 

Retirement from military service led Matt to an unexpected kitchen adventure. Since “trading in my combat boots for cookbooks, I now stand ready to report for cookie duty!” 

Matt discovered a passion for shortbread cookies while on a Hawaiian vacation in 2017. His visit to the Honolulu Cookie Company, a tourist destination popular for its delectable treats and generous samples, sparked his interest. 

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread

Matt realized that shortbread could be a blank slate open to many flavor combinations. He announced to his wife that he was going to start making shortbread. Given that he had not been an avid baker before, she was, well, surprised. 

Back home in his Eden Prairie kitchen, Matt started experimenting. He found inspiration for new flavors at the farmers’ market, in his pantry, and from his coffee cup. “All of my cookies are handmade and nearly all of my recipes are my own creations.” His co-workers started requesting orders of the cookies he had brought in for them to sample.

In April 2018, the cottage bakery of Bakerz Dozen was founded. As Matt refined his menu (with his wife’s encouragement) and expanded into a commercial kitchen, his bakery was reborn as Sergeant Shortbread. “Baking cookies started as a fun hobby after sampling cookies while on vacation, which turned into a side hustle, which then turned into a full-time career.”

Matt has run Sergeant Shortbread full time since the summer of 2020. “What brings me the most joy from my business is knowing that I’m bringing joy and happiness to anyone who tries and enjoys my cookies,” shared Matt. “Knowing that I was able to brighten their day by enjoying my cookies gives me tremendous joy.”

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread

While on active duty, Matt spent much of his military career as a recruiter for the Minnesota National Guard. He valued the sense of community that he enjoyed during his 23 years of service. He loves that he has found such positive camaraderie again among his fellow cottage producers and his participation with the Minnesota Cottage Food Producers Association (MNCFPA). “My favorite part of being a Cottage Food Producer is the wealth of knowledge that I have at my fingertips from everyone else within the community,” shared Matt. “Plus, the entire community is always ready to help however they can.”

Double Berry Shortbread

After his serendipitous visit to Hawaii, Matt is a firm believer that you never know what will ignite a passion. A one man operation, Matt’s greatest challenge is wearing all the hats any solopreneur balances. 

The journey thus far has been a good one. Matt’s excited to see what comes next for him and his cookies, “My greatest surprise so far has been the tremendous support that I have gotten from not only the cottage food community, but also from others within the food industry throughout the Twin Cities area.”

This summer find Matt at the Chaska, Hopkins, and Minnetonka Farmers Markets. He is also a regular at Keg & Case in Saint Paul. Visit the

Sergeant Shortbread at Keg and Case Market in Saint Paul

“Event”s tab on his website for specific dates. 

View the current menu and order directly from Matt at 

Follow @sergeantshortbread on Facebook and Instagram for market dates and new flavors!

Follow @meettheminnesotamakers on Facebook and Instagram to discover more of the people who make Minnesota a tasty place to be!

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