Fortnum and Mason own label deal boosts artisan butter specialist

Based at Dromara in rural county Down, the family owned company, which specialises in handcrafted butters, is now producing bespoke butters for the iconic retailer in London.  Butters featuring under the F&M brand are Smoky Chipotle, Date and Rum, and Miso and Seaweed along with salted and non-salted varieties.

Allison, who runs the innovation-led business, with husband Will, the butter maker, explains: “We were approached by the product development team at F&M to use our expertise and skills in creating the three unique butter flavours about 18 months ago. We were thrilled to be invited to produce these and the salted and non-salted butters for such a respected and successful brand as F&M has become.

“We’ve been doing business with F&M for seven years now and have developed a tremendously important business relationship. As a result, F&M has become an immensely valued customer and a great company to do business with.

“We’ve worked very closely with them over the past year in the development of the new flavours and also benefited from the input from Paul Clarke, a respected chef which runs En Place Foods in Cookstown,” adds Mrs Abernethy.

All the new butters are now on sale in the impressive F&M food hall in London, among the world’s most popular good food destinations, along with the established Abernethy’s award winning Black Garlic butter.

“The new flavours are a very exciting development for us and, of course, the local farm which supplies our fresh cream from its grass-fed dairy herd. They demonstration just how natural, versatile and, of course, healthy butter really is.”

The new Miso and Seaweed for F&M, in particular, is an extension of the company’s focus on health from its launch of a Dulse and Sea salt, another award winner. Abernethy Butter was among the first artisan companies to harness the rich resource of seaweed, now seen as a healthy food rich in vitamins A, D, E and K and essential minerals such as manganese, chromium, iodine, zinc, copper and selenium

As well as the significant new business with F&M, Abernethy is now supplying handmade butter to Whole Foods throughout London.

“We are now reaping the business benefits of the strategic focus on developing relationships with high-end retailers and major hotels in London and other parts off the UK,” she says.

The company, formed in 2005, has won a string of UK Great Taste and other awards and been acclaimed by influential chefs and food specialists including Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson, Xanthe Clay and Marcus Wareing. The butters also feature regularly in F&M cookbooks.