We asked our lovely jam supplier, Michael, to tell us a bit more about who Butterfly & The Bee are. His delicious strawberry, basil and lime jam & award winning orange marmalade with whiskey are both available to buy at our Social Pantry cafe in Battersea and at our lovely restaurant, Soane’s Kitchen in Ealing… that is if they haven’t already sold out.
For anyone that doesn’t know, what is Butterfly and The Bee and what do you produce?
Butterfly and the Bee is a preserves company focused on making jams and marmalades. We are interested in jams versatility and it’s abilities away from the breakfast table. Our jams & marmalades are great for Afternoon Teas, Cocktails and for cooking… think Duck breast glazed with Plum & Garam Masala.
What was the initial inspiration behind Butterfly and The Bee?
My initial inspiration was my grandmother. I’m from Wexford in Ireland and strawberries are part of our culture. We used to make strawberry jam and she had very high standards! I also trained, many years ago, as a chef and flavour combinations have alway fascinated me. I love experimenting with herbs, spices and alcohols to name a few.
What are the core values of Butterfly and The Bee?
Our core values are very simple. We believe in producing preserves to the highest standard, using the best fruits and ingredients available. We produce our preserves free from all additives, preservative and stabilisers. We focus on making our preserves as natural and seasonal as possible. This way of cooking results in very full flavoured preserves with very natural fruity tastes and no nasties.
What has been Butterfly and The Bee’s greatest achievement to date?
We are very proud of our Dalemain World Marmalade Awards and our Great Taste Awards from the last two years. To be honest, I’m proud every time an order comes through the door.
What is the biggest challenge you face on a day-to-day basis and how do you overcome this?
As with most small business, everyday is a challenge. Going into business for yourself is tough and all consuming but it’s hugely rewarding. Our biggest challenges are growing the business and money management.
From one business to another, what advice would you give your other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own company
My advice is to know your own mind, keep moving forward and don’t let anyone fill you with negative thoughts. All businesses take time and money to evolve. They also require large amounts of hard work and long hours. Planning and structure are very important and they will help you see the path ahead clearer. I think the most important advice: Keep at it and stay focused.
What does the future have in store for Butterfly and The Bee?
We are widening our preserves range and are looking to branch out into new markets. We recently started shipping our goods to Ireland and that has proved to be positive. We are also looking at a few collaborations and are starting to make bespoke jams for food outlets
Have you noticed any exciting emerging food trends for the next year or so?
Unfortunately I haven’t notices any trends recently, I’m so busy at the moment that jam is my life. The last food trend I was excited about was Mexican and I still go to my favourite Mexican, The Taqueria in Notting Hill at least once every 2 weeks. I can’t not go, the food is too good.
If we came to Butterfly and The Bee HQ for lunch, what dish (or dishes!) would you serve?
Well since we only make jams and it’s lunchtime, I’d probably serve a cold meat and cheese platter accompanied by our Plum & Garam Masala, Apricot & Amaretto and our Chilli & Red Pepper jams. These 3 jams are fantastic for such platters. Especially the Plum & Garam Masala, which has been awarded a 2018 Great Taste Award. After the cheese platter, I’d serve up donuts filled with Strawberry, Basil & Lime and Rhubarb & Basil. Fantastic combinations for sugary donuts. If you’re well behaved, we might serve wine with the cheese board.
Written by Michael Donnelly – Founder of Butterfly & The Bee (firstname.lastname@example.org)