‘Renegade’ product butters up donors

Kristian Biega, Staff writer

When we traditionally think of butter, “reckless” and “innovative” are not words that would come to mind.

But Tammy Lyn Fox, owner of Taste of Zion catering business and world traveler, is a self-proclaimed “reckless renegade” with her line of gourmet compound butters, Renegade Butters.

This project is being put into motion by the Kickstarter program, led by a team of university students and Kris Wheaton, J.D., associate professor of Intelligence Studies.

Fox’s goal with her line of butter is to expand her consumer base, bringing unique compound butters into everyday cooking.

“Renegade Butters rebel against the plain butter experience and gives you something that is at once both very old and very new,” said Fox.

The project of Renegade Butters came to fruition through the hard work of project manager Jillian Johannes, graduate Intelligence Studies major, and the collaborative team of students from Mercyhurst University and Penn State Behrend.

Emily Platt, junior Intelligence Studies major, was the original project manager for Renegade Butters, but unfortunately due to health reasons, had to withdraw from her position after making great headway on the project. Johannes stepped in midway into the process.

The team, composed of Jaret Kelly (traditional media manager and graphic design), Carley Moynihan (logo), Michael Nunez (photographer), Wheaton, Johannes and Platt, focused on collecting information on the product and its potential customers, what the best way to market and advertise it would be and analytics on how customers have responded to similar Kickstarters previously.

Each piece of the team’s analyzing, producing and designing happen simultaneously, but with varying levels of focus at different times. The end result is a culmination of their work as they go live with the product, hoping to fulfill their funding goal.

“This is very much a process,” said Johannes. “You have to check certain boxes along the way to make sure everything is done in the time frame most effective for producing a successful outcome. A lot of being a project manager is keeping tabs on all the moving parts.”

This was Johannes’ first time as project manager. She values the experience and skills she has gained in social media, advertising, graphic design and press releases with the unique Kickstarter campaign.

“Kickstarter fosters the idea of people believing in other people and believing in the ambitions of their fellow entrepreneurs,” said Johannes. “The platform is really interesting and this is my first exposure to it. People have these ideas for various products, whatever they want to make or create, and they can present that idea as a prototype to the masses.”

Renegade Butters can be found on Fox’s Kickstarter page, where the products can be purchased until Dec. 8.

Renegade Butters come in both sweet and savory flavors: Maple Walnut, Apricot, Orange Cranberry, Honey Pecan, Thai Curry, Garlic Parmesan, and Mediterranean. Supporters of the project will receive gifts such as a personal thank-yous, sets of butters, monthly subscriptions, or a create-your-own butter blend, for each level of monetary funding.

“I have tried the product, and it is so good,” said Johannes. “I think we are used to butter being pretty mediocre, but this changes the game!”