Butter is one of the most versatile ingredients out there; you can use it to fry steak, bake cookies, as a loaf of bread, or even as a conveyor condiments to flavor your food. To raise humble fat, ButterBae.Co (ButterBae) makes kombu butter (edible seaweed), a bougie butter that is mixed with marinated kombu in condiments like shoyu, dashi and even caviar, for example.
On how it could be used, its founder Samantha recommended: “On bread, thick layers on cookies, tossing them on steamed vegetables, on top of seafood and grilled meats, adding them to your favorite pasta sauce or as a finishing touch to your hot soup bowl “.
He added that customers have also toasted chicken and beef wellington with their caviar butters to recreate fine dishes at home.
A real blue food
The creator of ButterBae is a Penang housewife and self-proclaimed authentic blue cook who lives to eat. It was only during the MCO that her inner chef was revived, realizing that other dining halls like her were once again suffering from sweet dining experiences. This was also joined by the rise of Malaysians baking bread at home during closure.
“I thought it would be interesting to start a line of butter products to enjoy (like spread) with homemade fermented dough, as I noticed that many talented bakers have also come out after the MCO,” he recounted.
Samantha shared that learning how to make butter was a personal journey. He followed videos and recipes online to pick up basic kombu butter making skills. “I recognized the healthy properties of seaweed in general, but also that it lent a delicate burst of umami to butter and food,” he explained.
After taking advantage of it, he began experimenting with his own flavors, developing recipes to produce variations such as caviar, truffle, and truffle bacon butter. In addition, it also makes vegan butters to cater to this market segment that may not have many options.
After countless trials and errors, she began distributing samples among her friends, who urged her to start selling the products. Thus, ButterBae was launched in August 2020.
Who eats this Bougie butter?
“We believe our butters are for everyone, we have a lot of little fans and seniors enjoying as well as meals,” Samantha replied to Vulcan Post.
Usually used in gourmet cooking, Whole French food it was actually one of the first Malaysian companies will bottle umami butter during the MCO. The restaurant sells its kombu butter at RM60 for 3 jars of 80 g each.
As for ButterBae cakes, a 100 g jar can cost between € 18 for the original Kombu butter and € 38 for the truffle caviar. Other variants are Bacon Truffle (RM 23), Miso Kombu Butter (RM19) and Vegan Kombu Spread (RM18), to name a few.
When ButterBae was first launched, they were often compared to the restaurant, which helped educate the public about this product. Disadvantage, exposed Samantha to the competition.
“We have always tried to advise our customers so that they have an open mind while testing our products,” he said. To preserve her place in the market, Samantha tries to maintain the consistency of her butters by making them in small batches. Unfortunately, this leads to other problems.
It’s like sending COVID-19 vaccines
Among other challenges that arose from the sale of such a product, was to convince customers even to buy butter in the first place, given its shelf life of one month. In addition, customers are advised not to store, as product quality will deteriorate if maintained for too long.
Therefore, Samantha must patiently explain that butters are made without preservatives or stabilizers, which tends to help customers gain confidence in spreading.
But this is not all. As the news spread, KL buyers also gained interest, which presented Samantha with a new problem: shipping. Refrigerated trucks are required to sell products that depend on refrigeration to supply them between states, which is not cheap.
For example, orders of up to 3 kg per courier from Butterworth to KL will cost approximately € 30. Within Penang, it would only be RM12. Therefore, for interstate customers it would make sense group purchase, where communities can consolidate their orders and split delivery costs.
This was a problem Samantha faced during the closures when interstate travel was banned. When he wasn’t, he personally made trips to KL every month with the butter in an ice fridge and got his customers to pick up the products or Lalamove from a central location.
To me, this doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to manage the logistics of a company that hopes to grow. But if Samantha’s plans worked the way they wanted, she would ultimately ensure delivery partners and distributors could reduce these shipping and travel costs to make the products more affordable for customers.
For now, though, his methods seem to work. With loyal customers refilling their butt every time they empty a jar, ButterBae has sold 2,080 jars by the end of March 2021.
- You can find more information about ButterBae.Co here.
- You can read about more startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Samantha, founder of ButterBae.Co