Thursday, October 11, 2018


The trip this summer was mostly about the beauty of the Oregon Coast, but we did make a few educational (and in this case yummy) stops, one of those was the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  The city of Tillamook sits west of Portland on Tillamook Bay.  Located on the bay and also having 5 rivers, the city is known for fertile land and mild temperatures which makes for happy cows.  Not as happy as California cows of course.  The dairies there are part of a dairy cooperative called the Tillamook County Creamery Association, and the Cheese Factory is where they produce their cheese.  They have recently added a modern visitors' center which was a fun way to spend an hour or two.
When driving through town, the factory is hard to miss.
 The factory used to allow visitors onto the factory floor, but in the late 60s that was (thankfully) stopped due to safety regulations.  Now you can view some of the factory from a viewing area up above.
 Here they were checking cheese blocks for correct formation.  Those in the bin behind the checker were not acceptable.  Those were then sent to the cheese shredder for bags of grated cheese.
 This area wrapped the finished cheese in its packaging.
 The best part of the self guided tour was that it ended with cheese samples.  I can't say for sure, but we might have spent A LOT of time in this area.  Duh.
 The new visitor center has a huge food court with all things made from dairy.  A vegan or someone lactose intolerant would have been very sad at this food court.  Since I'm neither, it made me happy.  We had taken our time in Cannon Beach that day, so by the time we arrived at the factory is was dinnertime.  We had planned to share some cheese curds and macaroni and cheese - healthy stuff!  Sadly, the cheese factory was OUT OF cheese curds, so we just had mac and cheese.  It was very good.  But the ice cream was even better.
We still had a little over an hour drive to the next stop in Newport, so we couldn't spend too much time eating dairy products.  Tillamook was a quick but fun stop.


  1. I'm curious why if they are going to shred the blocks why a guy is needed at all.

    1. He has to check them. If they’re not correct, they go get shredded. If they are correct, then they get wrapped up while.

  2. Long after I left the farm, a Mennonite couple started up a creamery about four miles down the road from us. In short order, they were producing cheeses that have one first place at the World Cheese Contest and other places. Now when people ask where I am from, they hear me say it and immediately refer to the creamery which is absolutely in the middle of nowhere. Since it wasn't part of my life growing up, I always feel like I have to qualify it by saying it started up long after I was gone. But they do make good cheese and I do stop by and buy some on my way to our farm.

  3. Well I have to admit that neither Oregon nor California are the states that come to mind when I think of cheese. I think Wisconsin! And... I like to think the happiest cow in the world is the one named Kelly who lives in our pasture. (knowing she'll never be sent to the abattoir) :D

  4. Oh, I love love love cheese! And ice cream!

  5. Sounds like a cool place.. we drove by the factory.. I remember seeing a huge crowd.