Butlers Organic Eggs

The chickens that laid the golden eggs

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Butlers Organic Eggs

A happier hen makes a fresher egg—that’s according to David and Paula Butler, the owners of Butler’s Organic Eggs, a Hacketstown-based chicken farm that specialises in the production of organic eggs. Unlikely purely free-range hens, organic hens eat feed that is free from pesticides, and spend more time roaming freely outside. Furthermore, Butler’s eggs are certified by the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association to ensure they meet their strict standards. “We have organic, free-ranging birds that are outside ranging on organic pasture who produce a really goodquality organic egg,” says Paula Butler. “They’re very nutritious—in fact, they’re the top-quality eggs you can buy.” Paula’s husband David is living proof that you don’t need farming ‘in the blood’ to don overalls, get your hands dirty, and make a living off the land. “I started the business in 2007. I wasn’t originally from a farming background—I came from the cable TV industry,” he says. “I had a great interest in farming, and I wanted to get out of the industry I was in.” For 11 years, David took on the roles of manager and farmer, but despite his passion, the business struggled. “What I noticed is that we hadn’t scaled our business,” says Paula. “David was coming under pressure to do everything. He was marketing, he was advertising, he was business, he was husbandry. He was doing absolutely everything.” At this point, Paula stepped away from her office job to help bring the farm to the next level. David could finally share his workload.

“I took a career break so David could solely concentrate on the welfare of the birds and ensure that we had a high-quality product” she says. “I concentrate on one side of the business and David concentrates on the other, and it’s working as a really good partnership.” A close-up view of the farm’s day-to-day operations gave Paula greater insight into its challenges and opportunities. It was this understanding that pushed the couple to make contact with the Local Enterprise Office in Carlow. “My expertise was in marketing, advertising, business, and so on. David’s passion was for the farm. The Local Enterprise Office came in to help us with supports in management and finance, as they were the two areas where we were weak,” says Paula.

Hatching a Plan The Local Enterprise Office in Carlow offers a comprehensive range of financial assistance and learning programmes to help new start-ups and growing businesses get off the ground and scale. “Traditionally, LEOs are known for grant aid support, but there are different ways you can access supports and finance to help you grow your business,” says Gabrielle Carroll, business advisor at Carlow Local Enterprise Office. “Working with Butler’s Organic Eggs, the Lean programme allowed David and Paula to map out their processes. It allowed them to assess those processes and to achieve efficiencies in their business.”

The Lean programme, which helps micro-businesses become more efficient and effective with the resources they have, has clear results. According to an independent review, Irish businesses that participate in Lean programmes benefit from a productivity increase of 20% and a sales increase of 40%. “We were delighted to work with a small business to help make it happen,” says Gabrielle. For Butler’s Organic Eggs, the future looks golden. Their produce is stocked in some of Ireland’s most prestigious stores and restaurants, including Avoca and The Organic Supermarket. The farm’s eggs have even won a fan in Lucinda O’Sullivan, the Sunday Independent food critic. “The Local Enterprise Office has transformed how we think about running our business,” says David. “As we grow, we look forward to their continued support.”

 

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