Hunter Browns Brown Butter Is New On The Shelf
Everything is better with brown butter.
Ever wondered what the secret is to chef-style dishes? More often than not, it’s about the butter. Browning butter is a common technique used by chefs to add an extra layer of flavour in even the most mundane dishes, but it’s a technique often overlooked in home cooking. Lanna Lucas, the owner of Hunter Browns, wants to help home gourmands take their home food from ‘pretty good’ to ‘did you go to culinary school?’ with her line of ready-made brown butter.
For the uninitiated, brown butter is butter that is taken past the melting point, but not so far as to straight-up burn it. It adds a nutty flavour to any dish, and the scent is hunger-inducing.
With Hunter Browns, Lucas wanted to make brown butter more accessible to the average, gourmet inclined home cook. It comes frozen and pre-prepared in cubes, which can be popped into any dish like prawn pasta or sautéed mushrooms, as we did when we put it to the test.
“Whenever you incorporate it to your dishes, it automatically makes it more gourmet or higher end. The job of it is to elevate all of the ingredients around it,” said Lucas. “It doesn’t take too long, but there is still an art form to it.”
Spaghetti with prawns cooked in Hunter Browns Brown Butter. Photo credit | Abby Wiseman
Lucas first came up with the concept of Hunter Browns a decade ago when she thought it was odd that it wasn’t already available. She put the idea on the back burner, and then one evening two years ago, Lucas made a batch of brown butter pasta with too much butter, so she saved it. The next day she made more pasta with it, to even better results, and she realized that she was indeed onto something.
“I just decided to experiment and bought all the different kinds of butter and put it into ice cube trays,” said Lucas. “Honestly, it was just my curiosity, and I think the timing just worked.”
Lucas launched Hunter Browns, named after her son, Hunter, in December 2019, and due to being social media savvy, she had seven retailers interested before she even launched the product.
“Instagram really helped retailers find me,” said Lucas. “Being listed is the first step, but they want to know that you are doing your part to move the product, that you are proactive.”
Chanterelles on toast cooked Hunter Browns Brown Butter. Photo credit | Abby Wiseman
When COVID hit, Lucas faced the possibility of her entire operation grinding to a halt, so she faced the decision to either forge ahead, wait it out, or fold.
“My product is frozen, so I knew that if I let the product sit in storage that I might weather this storm,” said Lucas. “Instead, I decided to go for it, so I changed my website to be more geared towards the stay-at-home cook, and I started doing delivery in the Lower Mainland.”
The pivot paid off, and Lucas has increased her retailers from seven to 23 in the last few months, and now she’s looking to expand the product line to include a vegan version and different flavours.
“I feel really fortunate to be able to grow during this time,” said Lucas. “Even more than I thought I would.”
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