One of the only independent creameries in Minnesota, Hope Butter, is a century-old business that continues to make butter the old-fashioned way. There have been strong years and slow years, but the last 10 have been increasingly successful. Featured at many of the top restaurants, at the Co-ops as well as in regular grocery stores, Hope is often the go-to butter in Minnesota.
I took the drive down to Hope last spring. It's a tiny town with not much more than a post office and a bar (or two). Owner Victor Mrotz walked me through the churning process. As the hundreds of pounds of butter came plummeting out, I had to hold myself back from jumping in. Their efficient little system then packaged the butter into one pound blocks and got it ready for shipping. They never have more than a small walk in refrigerator of butter, ready to be shipped to Minneapolis or the local grocer.
Follow Daniel Klein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/perennialplate