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New Canaan Family Puts New Twist On Old Kitchen Staple

Jojo makes slow-churned butter with a Churncraft butter churn. Learn more about our modern, mechanical butter churn at
Jojo makes slow-churned butter with a Churncraft butter churn. Learn more about our modern, mechanical butter churn at Video Credit: Contributed/Churncraft
The Frey family uses a butter churn in their kitchen. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — New Canaan’s Frey family always made hand-churned butter during special holidays using an old-fashioned vintage butter churn. But that churn stopped working five or six years ago, leaving them with a dilemma.

“We tried to replace it with a modern version, and there wasn’t one that filled the bill on the market,” Kiki Frey Egli told Daily Voice. “We couldn’t find a clean, modern churn that also looks good in a nice kitchen.”

So the family set out to make their own, which they now manufacture in their South Norwalk facility for their company named Churncraft.

To use the churn, you simply pour two quarts of heavy cream, and, well, churn. It takes four to 10 minutes to produce the finished products -- butter and buttermilk.

“It’s one of the few culinary processes that starts with one ingredient and ends with two,” said Egli, who serves in many roles in the company including business development. 

The churns, which Egli, her sister, JoJo, and her parents, Kristin and Hannes, assemble by hand are made with high-quality parts from Canada, Europe and Asia. One German precision gear is so strong it’s a similar part to what is used in helicopters, she said.

Egli called her family’s churn a “modern reinterpretation” of an old staple, an “American classic.”

“It was a super popular household appliance throughout the entire 20th century,” she said.

But the churn allows home chefs to unleash their creativity today. It makes fresh butter that can be flavored with anything from salt to maple bourbon and sweet to spicy.

For best results, Egli recommends that those who want to add flavor to their freshly churned butter do so right after the butter is churned and the butter is strained. 

While Egli said her family hasn't ruled out designing and manufacturing new products, she said the churn is their definite focus for now.

“We’re starting with the butter churn and our mission with this product is just to get it into the hands of as many people as possible,” Egli said, adding that her family wants to help people make butter themselves and not sell butter directly. 

Want a butter churn? Churncraft's churn is available online and coming to local stores in the near future. 

Want to see the churn in action? The company plans to make future public appearances at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival and the Westport Farmers Market.

For more information on the churn, Egli and her family's company, visit the Churncraft website here.

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