Putting on The Ritz – Northern Ireland’s Abernethy Butter

Abernethy Butter, the Northern Ireland producer of gourmet handmade butter, has won business with The Ritz, the iconic hotel at the heart of London.

And the successful Northern Irish artisan business has also begun supplying its natural products to Ashford Castle in county Mayo, one of the Republic of Ireland’s most respected hotels.

Both hotels are now serving Abernethy’s award-winning salted and unsalted butter products, which have won a string of quality endorsements including UK Great Taste Awards, to guests in their restaurants.

Allison Abernethy, who runs the business with husband Will, the butter maker at Dromara in county Down, says the orders followed direct approaches from top chefs in the two five-star hotels.

“We were delighted to have been approached by the chefs about supplying two of the three butters in our range,” she says. “The Ritz in particular is among the world’s best known and most exclusive hotels. It’s great to see our salted and unsalted butter being served to guests from all over the world. Ashford Castle, located near Galway, is also one of the most popular with international tourists to Ireland.

“The new business is very exciting and is a tremendous endorsement of the consistently high quality and outstanding taste of our handmade and hand rolled butter,” Allison adds.

Formed in 2005, Abernethy Butter has developed into one of Northern Ireland’s most successful artisan businesses with top chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing and Andy McFadden among its high profile customers. It’s available in major stores such as Fortnum and Mason, Harrods and Selfridges in London and Fenwicks in Newcastle as well as delis throughout the UK.

The enterprising couple use only traditional techniques on their 66 acre Beechtree Farm, which has been in Will’s family for generations. They source cream for the butter from cows grazing in the lush green pastures of the Lagan Valley in County Antrim. All that is added to the natural butter is a pinch of salt.

Abernethy Butter was the only Northern Ireland artisan business included in the UK Food Stars initiative, which aims to strengthen the UK’s reputation internationally as a good food nation. It showcases small businesses which are driving innovation across Britain and is focused on helping the stars grow sales abroad.