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My week: Vogue said our butter was one of world's best

By Staff Reporter

Published 19/05/2015

Allison Abernethy and her husband have added dulse and seasalt butter
to their range
Allison Abernethy and her husband have added dulse and seasalt butter to their range

Every week we ask a businessperson how their week has been for both business and leisure. This week it’s Allison Abernethy, who churns and sells Abernethy Butter with husband Will from their farm in Dromara, Co Down.

This week business has been...

Particularly hectic for Will and I. Not only were we getting ready for the Balmoral Show, where we had a stand, but we were also launching a new Dulse and Seasalt Butter. We are proud of the provenance of our product and it made sense to incorporate dulse, a product from nature that's inextricably linked with our north coast. Will and I also had two new accounts to sort out, with a deli in the Republic of Ireland and a restaurant in London, though we can't give the names of the businesses just yet. We were in London and met existing customers Rosewood Hotel and Holborn Dining Room, and Fortnum and Mason.

This week I've been eating...

I was enjoying a fabulous steak from The Meat Merchant, the retail arm in Moira of Hannan Meats. I'm always proud to support fellow Northern Ireland producers - especially where their stuff tastes this good. With our own business based in Dromara, and Peter Hannan's just down the road in Moira, that corner of Co Down is becoming quite renowned. I also ate in the Holborn Dining Room in London.

This week I was socialising...

Again, it was all about the Moira area, as I was attending the 10th anniversary of the opening of Newforge House, a gorgeous country guesthouse in Magheralin. It's a member of Ireland's Blue Book and Historic Hotels of Europe, and was opened by John and Lou Mathers in May 2005. Will and I are also five years in business this year.

This week I've been reading...

We've been fortunate to enjoy great word of mouth success for our product. This month we've been singled out for praise by fashion bible Vogue and in Jamie Oliver Magazine. We were described as one of the world's best butters in Vogue, used in Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck in Bray, and mentioned in the same breath as acclaimed Normandy butters such as Lescure.

This week I've been watching...

I've actually been far too busy to watch any TV. A business like ours is a labour of love, and after learning about making butter from previous generations of the family, it was a bold step to turn a hobby into a business in 2005, but I'm so glad I did.

This week I've been listening to...

Lionel Richie's greatest hits. It's hard to beat a bit of cheesy music, and I find there's no better way to unwind than with some 1980s music.

My guilty pleasure of the week was...

A cinnamon swirl pastry from M&S.

In My Week next time: Tracy Hamilton, director of Mash Direct

Belfast Telegraph

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