Officials at the 2008 World Dairy Expo Championship’s Dairy Product Contest, held annually in Wisconsin , announced that Kate’s Homemade Butter (www.kateshomemadebutter.com) was presented with the First Place award at this year’s event in the “unsalted butter” category. Kate’s earned a rare score of 98.8 out of a possible 100 points for its entry.
The award, presented to Daniel Patry, Founder and President of Kate’s Homemade Butter, is considered an honor in culinary circles, and is watched with interest by producers, consumers and press alike. Over 60,000 attendees from around the globe attended this year’s Expo, which is recognized as the only dairy products event of its kind in the world.
Interestingly, the First Place award in the unsalted butter category comes just two years after Kate’s Butter earned its inaugural First Place win at the Expo: at the 2006 event Kate’s Sea Salt Butter version took the gold in the competition’s “salted butter” category.
“Kate’s Butter earning the First Place award at this year’s World Dairy Expo represents a real ‘David versus Goliath’ story, in my view,” noted Dr. Robert Bradley, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Food Science at the University of Wisconsin , widely considered a dairy industry authority by companies and producers nationwide.
“Here you have this relatively small producer in Maine , who, literally, makes his butter just in time to give his customers the absolute freshest product possible. He comes into the Expo arena this year, going up against the biggest names in the business – the largest manufacturers in the entire industry – and walks away with a near-perfect score,” Dr. Bradley added. “I know the quality of the Kate’s product, and Dan really tends to detail. That detail is extremely important to him in terms of producing such a first-rate finished product – it’s his passion.”
“Kate’s was competing with the best of the best at this year’s Expo,” agreed Bradley Legreid, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Dairy Products Association. “Any company that takes first place in a contest that encompasses entries from the entire North American continent is a business to be reckoned with.”
Kate’s unique, sweet cream butter is made fresh daily in small batches from pasteurized cream by the Patry family in Old Orchard Beach , Maine . The family’s heritage dates back four generations, to the turn of the 20th century, in nearby Minot , Maine . Patry, who was already making butter with his Uncle Roland by age 13, continues the Kate’s Butter pledge to never use artificial growth hormones in any of the cows that produce the milk Kate’s uses, and no artificial colors, preservatives or additives in any of their butter products.
The Maine-made butter, which has earned glowing praise from a variety of high-profile outlets including New York Magazine, Food & Wine, The New York Sun and The Frugal Yankee Radio Hour, continues to see robust growth and expanding accounts throughout over two thirds of the United States . Kate’s “wallet-friendly” unsalted and sea salt butters are sold in boxes of 2 sticks (8 oz.), boxes of 4 sticks (16 oz.), and in the company’s newest package, its 8-oz. resealable butter cups.
Over 500 markets in dozens of states now are distributing Kate’s Butter. Renowned chefs are exclusively using the product, as well, including Australian Chef Frank Brunacci at “Sixteen,” the recently launched restaurant at Chicago ’s new luxury property, the Trump International Hotel and Tower.
When asked what he believes sets his premium butter apart from other butters on store shelves, Patry cited the quality of the fresh cream gathered from New England farms, the company’s traditional, slow-churn production methods, and the team’s refusal to ever freeze its butter for storage. “Plus, our butter is always foil-wrapped to preserve freshness and the authentic flavor of the butter,” said Patry. “All of these factors are unique in the industry today, and we believe they all make a genuine difference in the kind of butter we’re able to offer our customers.
“We stick to the recipe that works for us – we don’t cut corners, and we use the same time-honored methods learned from our grandparents and great-grandparents,” he added. “The enthusiasm of the customer feedback we receive about Kate’s is incredibly encouraging, but we’re always striving to improve, and are careful not to take one bit of that customer support for granted.”