Penang Caviar and Truffle Kombu Butter Online Shop
Butter is one of the most versatile ingredients on the market; you can use it to baste a steak, bake cookies, as a bread spread or even as a seasoning carrier to flavor your food. To elevate the humble fat, ButterBae.Co (ButterBae) makes kombu (edible kelp) butter, candle butter mixed with kombu marinated in seasonings like shoyu, dashi, and even caviar, for example.
On how it could be used, its founder Samantha recommended: âOn bread, thick layers on crackers, throwing them on steamed vegetables, on grilled seafood and meats, in l ‘adding to your favorite pasta sauce, or as a finishing touch to your hot bowl of soup.
She added that customers have also roasted Chicken and Beef Wellington with their caviar butters to recreate fancy dishes at home.
A true blue gourmand
The creator of ButterBae is a Penang housewife and a self-proclaimed true blue foodie who lives to eat. It wasn’t until MCO that her inner chef was rekindled, realizing that other foodies like her were craving fine dining experiences again. It was also accompanied by the increase in the number of Malaysians who baked bread at home during the lockdown.
“I thought it would be interesting to start a range of tasty butters (spread) with homemade sourdough, as I noticed that many talented bakers have come after the AGC as well,” he said. she said.
Learning how to make butters was a personal journey, Samantha shared. She followed videos and recipes online to learn basic kombu butter-making skills. âI recognized the healthy properties of kelp in general, but also the fact that it gave a delicate dose of umami to butter and food,â she explained.
After gaining control, she began experimenting with her own flavors, developing recipes to produce variations like caviar, truffle, and truffle bacon butters. Additionally, they also make vegan butters to cater for this market segment that may not have a lot of choice.
After countless trial and error, she started handing out samples to her friends, who then urged her to start selling the products. Thus, ButterBae was launched in August 2020.
Who eats this candle butter?
âWe believe our butters are really for everyone, we have a lot of little fans as well as seniors who enjoy it, as well as foodies,â Samantha replied to Vulcan Post.
Typically used in fine dining, Entier French Dining was actually one of the first Malaysian companies to bottle umami butter during MCO. The restaurant sells its kombu butters at RM60 for 3 jars containing 80g each.
As for ButterBae spreads, a 100g jar can cost anywhere from RM18 for original kombu butter to RM38 for truffle caviar. Other variations include Truffle Bacon (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 such a product. On the other hand, it exposed Samantha to competition.
âWe have always tried to advise our customers to be open-minded while trying our products,â she says. To maintain 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 shipping COVID-19 vaccines
Among the other challenges that followed the sale of such a product, it was convincing customers to buy even the butters in the first place, given their shelf life of only one month. In addition, customers are not advised to stock up, as the quality of the product will deteriorate if it is kept for too long.
So, Samantha must patiently explain that the butters are made without preservatives or stabilizers, which tends to help customers gain confidence in the spread.
But that’s not all. As the message spread, there was also interest in KL buyers, which presented Samantha with a new problem: shipping. Selling refrigeration-dependent products requires cold trucks to deliver them interstate, which doesn’t come cheap.
For example, orders up to 3kg by courier from Butterworth to KL will cost around RM30. In Penang it would only be 12 RM. So, for interstate customers, it would make sense to bundle purchases, where communities can bundle their orders and split delivery costs.
This was an issue Samantha faced during lockdowns when interstate travel was banned. When this was not the case, she personally made the trips to KL herself on a monthly basis with the butters in a cooler, and brought her customers to collect or to Lalamove the products from a central location. .
To me, this doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to manage logistics for a company that is hoping to grow. But if Samantha’s plans worked as expected, she would eventually find delivery partners and stockists who could reduce those shipping and travel costs to make products more accessible to customers.
For now, however, his methods seem to be working. With loyal customers restocking their butters every time they’ve emptied a jar, ButterBae sold 2,080 jars at the end of March 2021.
- You can read more about ButterBae.Co here.
- You can read more about other startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Samantha, Founder of ButterBae.Co