Hannan expands with unique artisan butter brand

Abernethy Butter, an award-winning producer of hand churned creamery butter, has been acquired by business leader Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats, Moira. Both are FoodNI members.

The acquisition follows the decision by Will and Allison Abernethy, who started making the handcrafted butter in 2005, to retire.

The talented duo, who started the enterprise in their small holding at Dromara, had decided to turn a hobby into a fully-fledged small business that attracted orders from major chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Waring as well as food stylists such as Nigella Lawson.

The decision by Peter Hannan, a specialist in outstanding quality meat products, to acquire the company was influenced by his own longstanding admiration for the couple and their enterprise.

 “I thought it was a brilliant idea, an important development in Northern Ireland’s craft food scene back in 2005,” Peter explains. “There was no-one out there producing locally a handmade and hand rolled creamery butter.

“The flavour was amazing and the product a consistently high quality. Abernethy Butter was a marvellous showcase for the local food industry and soon attracted attention….and then business from Britain and the Republic of Ireland,” he adds.

In addition to developing his hugely successful meat business in Britain, Ireland and further afield, Peter has been a stalwart of artisan food here. These include developers of sauces and condiments that he also owns with chef Paul Clarke, En Place Foods in Cookstown and Craic Foods in Craigavon

Peter continues: “We are honoured to become the custodian for such a wonderful brand as Abernethy Butter, and I hope we manage to make Will and Alison proud of what we do over the coming years.”

The acquisition will see Abernethy Butter move to new premises owned by Peter in the Moira area, where it will enable locals and visitors see the butter being hand crafted behind glass. Production will also be stepped up in response to growing demand for the butter in Britain, Ireland and further afield.