Meet The Team
Meet Aline Fonesca: the creator of Vutter! Aline has always been passionate about food – who wouldn’t be, with a Parisian-trained chef for a dad? In fact, Aline has worked with food since she was 14 years old. Of course, this was 1996 in Brazil, and “vegan” was a foreign word - in more ways than one. While she knew what vegetarian was, and was confident making vegetarian cuisine, it was a real ‘journey to veganism.
Aline spent the next decade working with food - everything from helping her Dad run “Chez Aline” - haute cuisine at its finest - to running an Argentinian Parilla BBQ joint. Despite her many roles and restaurants, one thing stayed constant: Aline's love of butter.
In 2012 Aline and her daughter moved to Aotearoa. No stranger to the country, Aline had lived in NZ twice previously and, understandably, had fallen head over heels for our beautiful country. While living in Devonport in 2013, she met her now husband Patrick, and fell head over heels all over again.
So how did this lead to veganism? Patrick was a veteran vegetarian of 20 years, and Aline had always had a curious streak. She wanted to learn about veganism – after all, vegan food went against everything she had been taught - how could food taste good without meat, stock, cream and, most importantly, butter?
The experiments began – Aline and the whanau began testing vegan food, eating 70% vegan at home, and learning how to make food taste delicious – without the animal products. In 2016 Aline took the plunge and went vegan, saying “The process is different for everyone – you have to go through the journey. My only regret is not doing it sooner.”
Though vegan food is delicious, Aline felt there was something missing. Never a fan of margarine, Aline still dreamed of butter, ideally “thickly spread on lightly-toasted sourdough” (if we’re being specific). Then in 2018, while honeymooning in Brazil, Aline and Patrick stumbled across a vegetarian butcher that was selling vegan butter. They had to try it – at last, Aline was able to curb those butter cravings.
That wasn’t enough for Aline though, and once back in Aotearoa, she began making vegan butter. Several months into the experimentations she cracked the code and produced a delicious butter that was not only dairy-free, but also free from gluten, nuts, soy and palm oil – a product that everyone could enjoy. And so, Vutter was created! It was quickly a hit with local organic stores, and Aline decided she had to go big or go home – so she quit her full-time job and jumped into Vutter (so to speak).
What’s in store for Vutter’s future? When asked, Aline said she’d “love to see Vutter on everyone’s shopping list – as a staple, not just for vegans, but for anyone cutting down on dairy-based butter or margarine; for their health, for the animals, and for the planet.”