Cutting like a hot knife through a new butter market

New printer and wrapper to expand production at local creamery

The Roch family have been producing one-pound butter bricks like these at Notre Dame Creamery since 1964.

Notre Dame Creamery will soon be expanding its butter business with new products thanks to the purchase of an upgraded butter printer and wrapper machine.

The family-run creamery in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes has been distributing one-pound and 25 kilogram boxes of salted and unsalted butter to Manitoba businesses and stores since 1964 and also produces milk and kéfir drinkable yogurt.

New product development

"With the new machine we're hoping to increase our one-pound sales but we're also trying to start producing half-pound products," says owner Guy Roch. "There's a market for our original salted and unsalted, but also the opportunity to make different types of butters."

In particular, Roch is looking forward to making a chive butter to sell to restaurants and stores across the province. The company will purchase the machine with cost-shared funding from Growing Forward 2's Growing Value - Commercialization program.

"Cooks are always asking for different types of butter and it would be easier to distribute if we could make it into a smaller sized product," he says. "We do almost all of our business within the province and want to continue to grow the relationships we've built by expanding what we can do for them."

Supporting Manitoba's agricultural economy

The creamery has a strong history of supplying products within the province, Jeff Fidyk, business development specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, helping them to continue to grow has direct benefits.

"Developing these products out of Manitoba really contributes to our economy," says Fidyk. "They are one of a few small town creameries left in Canada and they've really built a strong niche for themselves here."

Roch says he applied for the funding primarily with hopes that expanding into a new market will also allow him to grow his company to keep up with today's economy and hopes to have the new half-pound products on the shelves by spring 2015.

Funding for business additions and expansions

Change, additions and expansions are usually needed for a business to grow and flourish in the competitive market. One of Growing Forward 2's mandates is to make proactive investments in Manitoban and Canadian businesses to help them succeed.

Growing Value - Commercialization was put in place to help fund transformative projects that bring value to market. This is not limited to product development, as in the case of Notre Dame Creamery, but also includes market research and development in domestic and international markets, value-added processing productivity improvements and related equipment purchases, the adoption of environmental sustainability practices and skill development associated with using new or innovative technologies.