Frequently Asked Questions
Since starting this business, we've been asked lots of questions: Do you live on a farm? Is your butter grass-fed and organic? What is cultured butter?
Here we hope to give you the answers to all of your burning questions. If you still have some that haven't been addressed, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Where can I buy Lofty Butter products?
Currently, we restock our online shop every two weeks (every other Monday at 9 a.m.) and you can find us our storefront, Lofty Kitchen Market & Cafe in Colborne Tuesday to Sunday from 10am - 3 pm.
When you shop online, you can choose to have your order delivered for $5 within our delivery catchment area.
Due to legislation, we are unable to supply shops with wholesale dairy products to sell or to sell products through a third-party.
We do not offer shipping at this time.
Have a community you want to see us in? Let us know! Send an email to email@example.com.
Where is your farm?
We get this question all the time! It's usually the first thing people ask us when we tell them what we're doing. "Oh, butter? Cool! Where's your farm?"
Although we ARE rural dwellers (in a tiny hamlet in Trent Hills, Ontario), we don't live on a farm - yet!
Recently there were changes to the legislation that allow us to make butter in a certified commercial kitchen using pasteurized cream. That has opened up a new market for little producers like us to actually make and sell small-batch artisan butter.
We source our cream from Hewitt's Dairy who provide us with 100% cream. This means no preservatives, stabilizers, or weird ingredients (take a look at the ingredient list on a carton of whipping cream the next time you're shopping and you'll see what we're talking about). Just natural Ontario cream. That was super important to us.
We also plan to source cream from Ontario micro-dairies in the future to offer special feature butters including single-herd, grass-fed, and organic varieties.
The simple answer is "Why NOT butter?" 💛 But there's so much more to it than that.
- It's delicious.
- It is an amazing base that can be elevated with local, seasonal ingredients and unique flavours.
- It has so many uses. From cooking and baking to frying and straight-up slathering. It's a staple in our household and for many meals.
- When we looked around there was no small-batch artisan cultured butter to be found.
So we went for it.
This is our opportunity to work with incredible producers and ingredients to make something awesome. This is our chance to build our community and become part of the local food system and the farmers' market family. This is our chance to make an impact on the world with a business that aligns with our values and supports things we care about. This is our chance to connect with our food on a deeper level and to use our business to help address food insecurity in our community.
We had all of these lofty dreams, and really, the butter life chose us.
What makes Lofty butter different?
We always want to say "💛Love💛" because making our cultured butter is definitely a hands-on labour of love. From start to finish (not including culturing time), it takes between 14 and 16 hours for us to make 24 kilograms of butter.
We churn 3-4 litres of crème fraîche at a time, and then get to work rinsing, kneading, flavouring, shaping and packing the butter by hand.
To put this into perspective, larger-scale dairies have churns that hold 1500 litres of cream, pumping out 684 kilograms of butter in a single batch. And machines that do all the other things.
Our butter also tastes different from the conventional store-bought blocks because most of the butter you see in the grocery aisle is sweet butter. It has a very mild taste. Ours is a cultured butter, made with fermented cream, so it has a tangier taste and smell, comparable to farmhouse butter from days gone by and European butter.
We also take pride in serving up feature flavoured butters, showcasing local seasonal ingredients and yummy flavour combinations!
Is there a difference between Lofty buttermilk and the stuff you buy at the grocery store?
Heck yes!! Our buttermilk is literally the byproduct of making our butter.
When we churn our ripened cream, it separates the butter solids from the liquid buttermilk. The result is a tangy, creamy, thick, dare I say heavenly buttermilk. You might even find a little chunk or two of butter in the jar!
Now, how is this different from your store-bought buttermilk? Well, there is actually no butter-making involved when it comes to the buttermilk you get in the cartons. That "buttermilk" is much more like what you would make at home if you had a recipe that called for buttermilk but you didn't have any on hand.
We've all been there. So what do you do? You sour some milk.
At home, you would reach for something acidic: vinegar, lemon, cream of tartar.
That's similar to what commercial buttermilk is. Bacterial cultures are added to skim or low-fat milk to ferment it, along with thickening agents and preservatives such as carrageenan, salt, and canola lecithin. Presto! Buttermilk! 🤨
Ours is the real deal and you'll taste the difference.
My buttermilk is separating. What's going on?
That's just the buttermilk solids and liquids doing their natural thing. Don't worry, just give it a shake and it'll regain its creamy consistency.
How do I store my butter?
We suggest that you store your butter to a sealed glass storage dish in the refrigerator. Otherwise, it will be exposed to oxygen more readily, which will cause oxidation on the surface (colour change), can make it spoil faster, and it may pick up flavours from other things hanging out in your fridge. Our butter can also be frozen for up to 9 months. We suggest you wrap it with foil and put in a freezer bag prior to freezing.
Why is my butter moist when I unwrap it?
There can be two reasons for this. One is that we are not machines and we rinse and hand-work the butter to get moisture out - so there may be little pockets of buttermilk or water remaining which finds its way to the surface. The other is the flavourings that are added - we pack A LOT of flavour into our products. When they warm up, they have a tendency to seep out a little.
What happened to the glass butter jars?
In the beginning, before any real production was done, our plan was to only pack our products in glass. We care deeply about sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of our business as much as possible. Then, we sanitized and packed 75 jars of butter and realized that while we are still small-scale and doing everything by hand, it was not economically viable for us.
We continue to offer our buttermilk, crème fraîche and other products in glass, but for our butter we have chosen to use an unbleached parchment over a foil-lined wrap that is typical for butter. If you live in a municipality that offers green-waste collection, you can throw the parchment right in there.
We do suggest that when you get your butter home, you store it in an airtight glass container in the fridge. This will help it avoid oxidization and reduce flavour-transfer from other items you have in your refrigerator.
What are you doing to give back?
We are committed to giving back to the communities that raised us, that welcome us, and that continue to support us.
Every sale we make will help tackle the food insecurity issue that many people in our community face. 10% of our net profits will be donated through our Bread + Butter Program to support community initiatives and programs that provide food to those in need.
COVID-19 and our business
You might be surprised to know that we actually launched our business the week the pandemic was announced *face palm*. We were all ready for our first in-person appearance at the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival, when BAM! The world changed in an instant.
As food handlers, sanitizing and hygiene have always been a main priority.
But the way we do business and some of our procedures changed to ensure that we are keeping ourselves, our family, our customers, and our community safe.
When we enter (and as we enter) our production facility, all common touch-points are sanitized before anything else begins: door handles, fridge handles, tap handles, counters... We then re-sterilize all of our equipment.
During production we are constantly washing our hands, changing our gloves, and sanitizing surfaces.
Once we are done producing, we go around again and re-sanitize all those key touch-points to ensure the kitchen is safe for those entering after us.