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Monday, Jul 15, 2024

Butter Dish Solves the Slippery Mess

A less messy way to store countertop butter. That was Joelle Mertzel’s goal when creating her product, Butterie. After learning that the dairy spread can be kept on a table or counter for weeks without spoiling, the former stay-at-home mother became an avid butter dish user. But she soon grew frustrated with how often the soft butter left a mess on the butter dish lid or the counter. “I thought, ‘Where is the flip-top butter dish?’ To me it was a no brainer,” Mertzel said. “(Butterie) is the world’s only butter dish with an attached flip-top lid.” Mertzel founded Northridge-based Kitchen Concepts Unlimited this year and launched the Butterie dish in January. The product first appeared at a handful of independent retailers. Just last month Butterie rolled out on the shelves of 100 Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. stores in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Union, N.J. retailer is testing the product in Southwest states before considering taking it national. Bed Bath & Beyond has more than 1,500 locations globally, a handful of which are in the San Fernando Valley in Northridge, Woodland Hills, Simi Valley, Encino and Thousand Oaks. “It’s a little bit of a mystery how (shelf placement) works with Bed Bath & Beyond. They’re still testing me, so I think it’s at the store level to determine how much shelf space I have and where they’re going to put me,” Mertzel explained. “But at the Northridge store my location is amazing – which I’m guessing is because he (the manager) knows I’m local and I’m sending all of my friends there.” Butterie retails for $12.99 and comes in a variety of colors including white, red and baby blue. The containers are plastic, BPA free, shatterproof and each are made with a flip-top lid to eliminate smashing the butter and making a mess when closing the lid. Though manufactured in China, at present Mertzel’s Butterie inventory is stored and shipped from her home in Northridge. She and her husband invested $65,000 to get the product off the ground, not including their first production costs. Mertzel is now working to build up her online presence via social media to help market the new product. She aspires to get her product featured on home shopping network QVC.com and onto shelves at Macy’s Inc. “I know it seems like such a small thing, but when you’re always making toast in the morning or you’re always fighting cold, hard butter – all you have to do is leave it out,” she said. – Champaign Williams

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