Leo Peters’ fascination with butter was the spark for more than six decades of innovation.
We’re All About The Butter, Not The Turkey
It’s the company’s best conversation starter. “So, I thought you folks were Butterball Turkey?” Not for more than 60 years, but yes, our legendary brand started with a genius who wanted to hold on to the name. It’s a great story that we are happy to share.
Leo Peters, the founder of what is today, Butterball Farms, was a genius entrepreneur and inventor. He always had a passion for innovation, with one of his first innovations being a squeeze bag that put the yellow dye into margarine. He purchased the trademark Butterball and years later he turned his innovative mind to butter, inspired by chocolate molds to create beautiful, embossed butters! He opened the Butterball Farms butter plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan where they modernized the process of flash freezing butter. Several famous restaurant chains jumped on board to emboss their logos into pats of butter or to create unique butter shapes to serve to their customers.
That’s only half of this legendary story. In 1995, Leo passed away, but his succession plan had begun years ahead of his passing. He introduced his son, Mark, at an early age into the world of work, and butter. By his early teens, Mark was sweeping on the plant floor of the Michigan plant where he learned the ropes in manufacturing, innovation, and motivating employees.
Under Mark’s leadership, innovation would remain with the release of the company’s own line of shaped butter balls and a process for evolving innovation that continues today. Mark also went to work on retooling the culture within his company and his community. His unique perspective on motivating employee success and the community is within his book, THE SOURCE, and his addresses to industry and professional organizations nationwide.
Once you read Mark’s book and experience his passion for both business excellence and embracing his employees and his community you’ll know. Butterball Farms stands for much more than it’s extraordinary butter.
Today, under the leadership of Mark Peters, Butterball Farms has expanded into flavored butters and sauces that save time and labor for food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants across the country. With a mission to ‘enrich lives’ they are a trusted partner who works with many of the largest brands in the nation on their butter and flavored ingredient products.
“The spirit of innovation is very much part of our culture here,” says Bonnie Beard, the company’s director of marketing. “An important difference in today’s experience is our efforts to support our community in the Grand Rapids, MI area and giving people an opportunity to succeed in their professional and personal lives.”
Dollops encompassing nearly any flavor are formed into mounds that melt perfectly atop meats or vegetables to add value to deli foods and prepared meals. Dollops can likewise be used to impart flavor for trending menu items, like elote for Mexican street corn, country sausage gravy dollops for quick prep of biscuits, gravies for meats or even bringing authentic low country flavor to a seafood boil that’s prepared in a microwave. Dollops can also be used as a melted sauce for everything from chicken wings to seafood. Custom flavored aioli’s, cream cheeses, and even vegan butters are available as well as the company’s legendary shaped butters in hundreds of custom varieties.
The company also provides tubs of flavored butters for the grill and prep areas. A garlic herb butter can be quickly smeared atop a meat or for buttering bread before placing on the grill. Portion control shaped or flavored butters can be used for takeout with pastries or baked goods. Butterball Farms also offers Quik-Creations® butter sauces that eliminate the need to melt large quantities of butter in making sauces, glazes, or other menu items.
“We offer free samples of our products,” says Bonnie. “Go to ButterballFarms.com to contact us.”