Shrubway is Benacia's premier chain of fast food restaurants. It is operated by the ESB Group and has premises all over the former Minarborian Empire, as well as premises in Ardashirshahr, Musica, and Shirekeep, as well as operating staff canteens at ESB facilities globally. Technically the modern company is a survival of the franchise granted to the ESB Group by the Church of Minarboria, prior to the latter's collapse in around 1648 AN. That a company associated with the military-industrial complex of Shireroth and the excesses of Human Supremacism came to operate a franchise associated with the core tenets of what would become Ketherism can largely be attributed to the cynical exploitation of the whimsical consumerist impulses for nostalgia and "irony" in the relentless pursuit of profit maximisation.
Shrubway was founded in the first month of 1635 AN, as a charitable food bank for those extremes of the Empire where the Second State Arbor welfare system had not yet reached the failed homesteaders and other downcast breathers who invariably accompanied the more successful pioneers. Pleased by the reduced strain on its own resources, the Second State Arbor permitted the Church to expand the Shrubway brand effectively without limit, until, in the absence of serious competitors, it became a major supplier of both breather food and lich cookies in all parts of Minarboria. In many places it outperforms the Arborial food distribution system in resourcing and popular uptake, thanks to the Church's independent base of agricultural and industrial suppliers who are motivated to provide their goods and services directly to the Church in exchange for formal indulgences and other shortcuts to Shrubly salvation for their workforce.
In the third month of 1636, Shrubway extended to Shireroth under the auspices of ESB-Jörmungandr Group as exclusive franchisee. The Shirerithian operation was set up as a purely monetary affair free of direct Minarborian control, although the Church secured twelve percent of the ESB franchise's profits thanks to the singular negotiating skills of its in-house Deep Singer lawyers. This is rumoured to have gained the Church a wealth equal to the Third State Arbor in terms of liquid assets abroad, some of which then - ironically enough - would have been "liberated" by the Kalgachi Defence Force during Operation Credulity's Edge of the memorable year 1651 and contributed directly towards the development of the last credible opposing force to the Imperial Republic left on the Benacian continent.
The commercial success of Shrubway, and its social utility during the collapse of Minarboria's command economy was the single biggest factor in the decision of Kalgachia's government to retain and expand Minarboria's 'self-funding state church' model, granting its Ketherist successor a titular monopoly on all landholding private enterprise and generating a monetary surplus sufficiently immense for the new church to fund Kalgachia's parochial social welfare system largely independent of central government resourcing. As a result, those Shrubway outlets falling within Kalgachi territory during that nation's emergence were forfeited to the Ketherist state church and individually rebranded or else franchised to the Florian giant Chicken King, ironically eliminating the Shrubway brand from the nominal successor of the state which spawned it.
The present standing of the Shrubway franchise is unknown - but it may be presumed to be amongst the many corporate casualties of the Great Benacian Depression fuelled by the aftermath of the War of Lost Brothers, the White Plague and finally the Kalirion Fracture. Whilst the ESB Group might claim the right, however dubiously, to revive the franchise at some indeterminate point in the future - the reactions of the Nationalist & Humanist Party and the Black Legions to a Shrubways opening in Merensk can only be imagined.
Shrubway's menu is constantly rebalanced and fine-tuned for commercial and ideological effect, given its legacy as a memetic vector for the core principles of what was once Minarborealism amid the ordinary population. Tinkering with variations of the traditional shrubway menu has become almost a cottage industry amongst ESB specialists in influence operations. The alchemical allegory of bodily digestion as spiritual cleansing was prominent a feature of Minarboreal liturgy, and Shrubway represented an opportunity to implement this amongst the general populace at a subconscious level. The name of Shrubway itself along with the variety of certain legacy products maintained a basic level of memetic penetration in the collective unconscious of those formerly exposed to Minarborian and Kalgachi cultural values and belief systems - a potent resource for the ESB Group to mine.
- Breakfast Shrub Sub (made from ingredients blessed at dawn by a Holodomatic Cedrozurvanist priest)
- Six-inch Virtue Shrub Sub (each inch themed with one of the the Six Laws of the Garden. 'Purpose' to be eaten quickly, 'Efficiency' to be eaten without shedding crumbs, 'Direction' to be eaten with a minimum of lip-smacking, 'Purification' to be eaten with the alchemical incantation written on the packaging, 'Reciprocity' to be given to the vendor, and 'Self-Improvement' to be cast into the Putrefact located on the premises)
- Six-Virtue Footlong (the same, but with two inches per Shrubly Virtue)
- Fleurette's Flatbread
In such well-cultivated configurations as:
- Litel Forest Ham
- BLT (Bridezilla Lyssansa's Terror)
- Putrefact Combo (for customers with enhanced immune systems only)
- Spicy Florencian
- Minarbor Marinara
- Minarbor Carbonara
- Deep Singer Delite
- Geneshaper Mystery Meat
- Ouroboros Club
- Shrubby Patty (vegetarian)
(Note: add soma)
- Breakfast Lich Wafer with Methyl Sauce
- Uncle Moshe's Binah Bagels (other Sephirot available on request)
- Lichcookie à la Lachmeren (crystalline glutaraldehyde frosting)
- Lichcookie à la Novodolor (phenol infused)
- Bread 'n' Circus Lichcookie (amphetamine-laced sugar icing, for blue-collar breathers)
- Sleepy Time Lichcookie (chocolate chips infused with equine tranquiliser, for unruly breather children)
- Zombot Lichcookie (for automatons; wafer comb impregnated with spindle oil to prevent mechanical failures)
- "Health is wealth! Taste is waste!" - Advertising slogan trialled in Raspur circa 1663.