Culi­nary but­ter spreads its wings

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Food & Drinks - BY MAR­GARET CAN­NING

A FOODIE en­tre­pre­neur from Co Fer­managh has joined forces with her former class­mate to launch a new culi­nary but­ter.

Im­proper But­ter, which is made in Ire­land, will now be avail­able to buy in shops in North­ern Ire­land.

The but­ters are made for adding flavour to foods, such as pasta or mashed potato.

Han­nah O’reilly from En­niskillen and her friend Elaine Lav­ery from Dublin set up the busi­ness four years ago, and started bring­ing their prod­uct to farm­ers’ mar­kets around Dublin.

The Univer­sity Col­lege Dublin (UCD) grad­u­ates work full-time in the busi­ness.

The but­ters are made with fresh herbs and sea­son­ing in Co West­meath, then in­di­vid­u­ally hand­wrapped and boxed.

Now the but­ter is be­ing stocked in in­de­pen­dent traders and sym­bol re­tail­ers — and but­ter-lovers will be able to buy the prod­uct in North­ern Ire­land Spar and Eurospar stores af­ter the women reached a deal with Hen­der­son Whole­sale.

The stores will be stock­ing gar­lic Im­proper But­ter, which is made with lemon zest and pars­ley, and a gar­lic and chilli but­ter.

The 27 year olds em­ploy two peo­ple in the busi­ness, a sales man­ager and graphic de­signer.

The com­pany re­cently se­cured €200,000 in new fund­ing from back­ers in­clud­ing Des Traynor, co-founder of tech com­pany In­ter­com.

Elaine’s fa­ther, Con­all Lav­ery, founder of IT se­cu­rity com­pany En­tropy, has also backed the ven­ture.

Elaine said she hopes to spread the word in North­ern Ire­land.

“We’d love to get into more in­de­pen­dents in the north. We are aware of some of the foodie places like Sawyers and Ar­ca­dia, and we have a dis­trib­u­tor (http://www. row­cliffe.co.uk) who can reach North­ern Ir­ish in­de­pen­dents for any in­de­pen­dent stock­ists who are in­ter­ested.”

The pair will also ad­dress a Man­age­ment and Lead­er­ship Sum­mit in Ti­tanic Belfast next month.

Elaine said the but­ters’ prove­nance was an im­por­tant sell­ing point. “As such, we have rigid sus- tain­abil­ity mea­sures and tar­gets in our sourcing and pro­duc­tion.

“As grad­u­ate en­trepreneurs our­selves, we also work with sec­ond and third level stu­dents to pro­mote grad­u­ate en­trepreneur­ship as a vi­able ca­reer op­tion.”

She said that de­spite grad­u­at­ing with a first class hon­ours de­gree in busi­ness and law from UCD, she al­ways han­kered af­ter a ca­reer in food.

Be­fore fin­ish­ing her un­der­grad­u­ate course, she took a gap year and cooked for guests at a ski chalet in the French Alps. Here she started to cre­ate gar­lic and herb but­ters to add flavour to her guests’ food — and the idea for Im­proper But­ter was born.

Han­nah O’reilly (left) from En­niskillen and her friend Elaine Lav­ery

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