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Spreading a taste of vegan

Flagstaff Team

Natural alternative… Aline Fonseca and Patrick Malloch plan to expand their vegan-butter business

A Devonport couple have launched a new brand of vegan butter they developed at home in a kitchen blender.

Aline Fonseca and Patrick Malloch have been eating a plant-based diet for around four years.

And while they tried all manner of margarines and alternatives, they found they really missed butter.

Fonseca, a chef, originally from Brazil, started experimenting in her Albert Rd kitchen and Vutter was born.

Various incarnations later it was tested on family and friends and was even served at the couple’s February 2018 wedding, where guests were blown away by its taste.

The couple decided to develop Vutter further and set up a “lab” in a food truck they had purchased.

From a couple of pots “out of the blender in the kitchen”, the enterprise now has a commercial kitchen in the city producing 250 tubs a batch. Vutter has been on the market for about a month, sold in selected health-food shops and at markets.

Locally, it is available at The Fresh Market stores in Devonport and Hauraki Corner, and at IE Produce in Takapuna.

Vutter is made from natural ingredients, including coconut and sunflower oils, rock salt, apple cider and vinegar.

Malloch, an architect, says it contains no dairy, gluten, soy, nuts or artificial additives. “There’s no oestrogens or chemicals from the dairy industry… it’s cruelty-free – it’s going to rock the world,” he says. Feedback from customers has been “great”, with many repeat orders.

Fonseca was surprised by the take-up from the over-65s, won over by the taste. Possibly the true test, though, is the reaction from the couple’s four kids.

They are getting through a 260gm tub every few days, with uses including garlic butter and popcorn toppings.

“It’s a bit of dream to be able to do this,” says Fonseca. “It’s a product that is not only good for you but better for the planet.”

The next step is to contract a commercial manufacturer to produce enough Vutter to sell into restaurants and supermarkets.

Other ideas for the couple’s umbrella company, Feliz Wholefoods, include a garlic Vutter.

This article originally appeared in the 23 October 2020 edition of the Flagstaff. Read online here.

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