To Market Pantry: Churncraft
New Canaan, Connecticut
If your idea of butter is the stuff that comes from the grocery store in a box, the butter made in a Churncraft home churn will seem like an unfamiliar delicacy. The Frey family, which launched its product in June 2016, is on a mission to bring the craft of butter making back to American homes.
The hand-powered mechanical churn is the brainchild of Kristin Frey, family mom and company “Boss Lady,” who grew up on a small family farm cranking cream into butter with a vintage Lightning churn. When it finally stopped working after decades of use, Frey set out to find a new one.
“Churning butter is a family event,” Frey says. “I’d bring the churn out at the holidays and on my children’s birthdays and it became a tradition. Not only was creating and eating this simple, unprocessed butter easy and delicious, but it also made my family think about how food is sourced and created.”
After trying every churn on the market with unsatisfactory results, she began a years-long endeavor to build one herself. The result, built in the Freys’ workshop, is both elegant and easy to use, allowing people to make over a pound of fresh butter in about 20 minutes. It can be left plain or compounded with herbs, spices and salts. The Freys recommend it with everything from bread to roasted meats and vegetables. It is also, they promise, the ideal consistency for piecrust.
As interest in home food production grows around the country, the family hopes that Churncraft will enable people to be more self-sufficient when it comes to making food. “We see ourselves as part of the community teaching people about the fundamentals of food production and love that we’re touching on cross-generational experiences,” says Frey. “Parents and grandparents who may have churned butter as younger people can now share that experience with their children and grandchildren.”
JACQUELINE GRADY SMITH