STATEN ISLAND, NY – Lorraine and Michael Delizia greased the wheels on a business idea last fall – a “butter club of the month.” And, with 22 flavors in inventory, the concept has recently started to stick.
“It was my nephew’s idea – on his birthday he said he wanted a ‘Butter of the Month’ club,” said Lorraine. And after Michael researched the licenses and documents for such a business, the couple did.
While the natives of Staten Island recently shared their story in the Advance Cookbook contest, they started out humbly with just three flavors.
“And people would ask us, do you have ‘brown sugar’? Do you have chipotle?” said Lorraine, who grew up in Oakwood. “I would say, ‘No, but we can do it!'”
So she tinkered with flavors – strawberry, garlic-basil, maple-bacon, honey-mustard-beer butter.
Inspiration came from a nearby farmer’s market and high season food. Pumpkin butter arrived in late fall. The flavors of orange and lemon first appeared when Florida citrus fruits reached their peak. And, more recently, the Delizias have created a coconut butter.
“It’s not really butter,” said Lorraine, but a mixture of honey, chocolate and chipped fresh coconut.
Do the Delizias make butter from scratch? In the beginning, it was indeed part of the business plan.
“I wanted to make sure it was very good quality,” said Lorraine. Still, for consistency’s sake, she’s gone buttery in grass-fed sticks.
At room temperature, she whips it in a huge blender. Everything should be mixed in small amounts. And this question has been learned by trial and error.
The first two times they made strawberry butter, Michael recalls with a chuckle, the effort failed.
“The bigger the lot, the worse it is,” said the Port Richmond native.
Lorraine decorates the pots with fabric patches. The 1987 film
gave her the idea – think Diane Keaton, a yuppie who moved to Vermont from Manhattan and started a baby food business with attractive, house-style packaging.
“We weren’t expecting it to take off like it did,” said Lorraine.
But it gradually became a family business. They now reside in Toms River, NJ, where Lorraine produces the butter, Michael pots it, and their daughters, Christina, 17, and Melissa, 22, help market and sell it.
The butters – frozen, bubble-wrapped and put overnight – have reached fans in Florida, Michigan, New York City and beyond. Lorraine shares a pancake recipe that pairs well with their variety of maple butter and bacon.
Indeed, the butters went well in the Advance’s Cookbook contest.
“Their produce is delicious and I love the variety – the sweet, the savory, the seasonal batches, they all pair well on fresh bread or used as a ‘secret ingredient’ in a favorite recipe,” said Mike Pica of Randall Manor, a participant of the Taste-off on Sunday March 19, where he tasted the flavors.
He added a listing for the company: “We all know the saying ‘butter makes it better’ – and now Butter Me Up makes butter better!”
You can reach Butter Me Up at 732-930-1116 or [email protected] Their website is ButterMeUpNJ.com.
RECIPE: Sweet pancakes
(For about 1 dozen pancakes)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of baking powder
2 to 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 1/2 cup milk
5 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Add the cooled melted butter.
Heat your plancha or pan over low heat. Add a small amount of butter to the hotplate or pan and pour over a circle of dough. Cook until bubbles form and turn over. Cook until browned.
Enjoy with your favorite sweet Butter Me Up butter. Our favorites include brown sugar and cinnamon, apple and cinnamon, strawberry, orange, walnut honey and maple bacon.
– Lorraine Delizia