Butter from Orkney has reached dizzying new heights, being served up in the world’s tallest restaurant, within the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The hand-wrapped artisanal butter, produced by The Island Smokery, was chosen by top chef Christopher Graham for use in the exclusive At.mosphere restaurant, situated on the 122nd floor of the 828m skyscraper.
So far, 60kg of The Island Smokery’s Orkney Butter have been supplied to At.mosphere, with more set to head to there in the coming months.
The Dubai order marks another milestone for The Island Smokery, which has recently moved into a new factory in Stromness to cope with increasing local, national and international demand for its products.
The company is already supplying its smoked Orkney cheese to distributors in the USA and has just secured a major contract with UK supermarket chain, Morrisons.
Meanwhile, the Smokery’s Orkney Butter has also found its way onto tables at the exclusive Gleneagles Hotel, in Perthshire.
Callum MacInnes, who established The Island Smokery in 2005 and developed the company with his wife Fiona, said both the Burj Khalifa and Gleneagles butter orders represented significant milestones in the development of their business.
“We’re immensely proud to have our Orkney Butter gracing the tables of an exclusive restaurant in the Burj, and at the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel,” he said.
“Fiona and myself are always looking for opportunities in terms of new markets and see no reason not to aim high. Chefs and buyers in turn recognise that we’re producing a very high quality product and, crucially, we can deliver the quantities they need.”
Mr MacInnes explained that the Burj order came after Scottish fine foods distributor Braehead Foods took a sample of Orkney Butter, on the Smokery’s behalf, to a food and drink expo event in Dubai.
“Christopher Graham from the At.mosphere restaurant in the Burj tried our butter, said it was the best in the building and asked for it to be supplied as quickly as possible,” said Mr MacInnes. “We immediately made up a 30kg order for them and sent it out. We’ve done that twice now and the feedback continues to be excellent. There’s definitely a market there for us and it’s one we’ll be looking to explore with other products from our range.”
Fiona MacInnes added that The Island Smokery was also in talks with companies in Austria and Singapore, with a view to supplying its range of smoked Orkney cheeses.
“The international market is becoming increasingly important for us, but we’re equally committed to ensuring we continue to meet the needs of our local and national customers,” she said.
“Our products sell very well within Orkney and throughout Scotland, so regardless of how much we might expand globally in the coming years, we never lose sight of where we come from.
"Without the commitment of our staff, and the ongoing support of the local community here in Orkney, we’d be unable to capitalise on these new opportunities.”
Edgar Balfour, development manager for Orkney food, drink and crafts, said: “The Island Smokery is a good example of an artisanal Orkney food business making its mark internationally, and at the highest levels in the UK too.
"Callum, Fiona and the team are proof that, with a commitment to quality and a can-do attitude, anything is possible for Orkney companies.”