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Earning her bread and butter

Legendary is how you could describe Melissa Altman’s career in hospitality. From studying and working in a local club in the 90s to today supplying Qantas’s First and Business Class passengers with artisanal cultured butter – now that’s an incredible journey.

Melissa’s first foray into the food and beverage industry began in 1994 at the NSW Epping Club where she studied in between work shifts to attain her hospitality management degree. Soon after, Melissa met her life partner, Pepe, and together they planted the seed of their future successful business, Pepe Saya.

Recognising a gap in the market, they convinced local chefs to nourish and nurture their customers with a homegrown product rather than importing it from overseas. Then Melissa and Pepe showcased their unique handmade butter by promoting it through hotels, clubs, cafes and farmers markets – and their persistence paid off.

“When we started it was a real challenge – we were churning 200 kilos a week’, says Melissa.  “Now we’re delivering 10 tonne a week.”

Qantas was quick to seize on the opportunity to serve a unique, locally produced product with a real Australian story to their First and Business Class passengers. “It’s one of our proudest moments so far”, Melissa humbly admits.

And from humble beginnings working in a club to achieving international acclaim as an artisanal butter maker, Melissa has taken her super with her for 25 years.

“I started with Club Plus Super in my first full time job and I’m still with them today and I’ll be staying with them into the future,” says Melissa. So, if you would like to know about how to take your Club Plus Super with you – wherever you go and whatever life stage you’re at – go to take us with you .

Melissa’s story