Butter Bay – Chapter II: The Idea

We all use butter; probably on a daily basis. It sits on the table in a dish or crock or in the fridge in a butter dish. The butter on the table is soft but is it safe and does it taste good?  Butter from the fridge seems safe and fresh but it doesn’t spread worth a darn and can pick up flavors from the fridge. We all face these situations, but what makes one guy think, “This butter situation is a disaster; I need to do something about it”.

Well, that guy is Jerry Scarrow who explains his preoccupation with butter storage by saying, “I’m a weird thinker with lots of ideas in my head.” Many of Jerry’s “I can do that better” ideas succumb to busyness, indecision or “didn’t get around to it”.  But he couldn’t get this idea out of his head.

Early Butter Bay prototype painted by Jerry's daughters.

Early Butter Bay prototype painted by Jerry’s daughters.

Butter containers have probably been around for as long as butter. The traditional butter crock, pictured at right, is a round ceramic piece that holds a bit of water in the

Traditional French Butter Crock. Not shaped like cube of butter!

Traditional French Butter Crock. Not shaped like cube of butter!

bottom to keep air from reaching and souring the butter. Why the round shape? Who knows. Most likely, it was easier to “throw” ceramics in  round shapes.  The round crock does the job of protecting freshness, flavor and spread-ability.  The problem is that it’s a pain to get today’s  refrigerated, hard, longitudinal cube of butter into a round hole.

“I first got the idea for a better butter container in 2005 and developed my first prototype in 2008,” says Jerry.  Along the way he kept searching for that perfect butter container to no avail. Jerry’s idea was to  take what was good about the round crock (butter stays fresh, soft & safe) and build it into a container shaped like today’s longitudinal stick of butter that would be easy to load and easy to use.

At the end of 2013 Jerry’s good buddy, David Orr, brought out a product at fanbladedesigns.com. “David gets ideas and acts on them,” said Jerry. David’s example gave Jerry the impetus to move on his butter storage idea.”I didn’t want to look back in 10 years and see someone else had done it.” Jerry received his inspiration from David on December 13, 2013. One month later, he met with Calvin Allan of TechHelp at the New Product Development Lab at Boise State.  The inspiration for an idea had met the means to get it turned into reality.

Tune in Next Week For – Chapter Three – Steps in Product Design and Development of the Butter Bay