Today’s Tillamook Cheese Factory Tours Are Much Different Much To The Delight Tillamook Cheese Fans Nationwide
Remodeled in 2018, the Tillamook Cheese Factory of today is open, airy, modern and fun!
The Tillamook County Creamery Association, operating the factory, closed the original Tillamook Cheese Factory in March of 2018. The brand new Tillamook Cheese visitors center is now 50% larger and open and ready for visitors!
Guests enter under the watchful eye of one of the beloved Tillamook dairy cows into the new, modern Tillamook Cheese Factory visitors center.
And of course, our group loved our visit! Everyone should enjoy this experience at least once in their lifetime. Visitors love seeing how their favorite Tillamook cheese is made.
People are then guided to the upstairs tour area. Much of the Tillamook Cheese manufacturing process is now mechanized, and visitors are able to watch the process from behind a glass barrier. Much more sanitary than my childhood memories!
There is a fun, informational movie and more displays for visitors to enjoy.
After viewing the manufacturing fun, visitors come to one of our favorite parts of the tour – the sample area, a personal favorite!
Tasting all the creamy cheese samples always brings back the joy of my childhood love of Tillamook Cheese. Be sure to sample the cheese curds – they’re a fun, yummy treat.
Visitors taking the tour are then guided to the Cheese Factory Store. Does anyone else remember the small Tillamook Cheese Factory shop of old?
They even have limited ice cream releases only available to Tillamook Cheese Factory visitors!
Oregon Coast Cheese Is Actually Made In Wisconsin
Last Friday, Pioneer Courthouse Square was a dairy junkie’s dream, as Portlanders swarmed over the red bricks to gobble up free samples and penny ice-cream cones from the Tillamook County Creamery Association. To celebrate the company’s 95th anniversary, Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared July 30, 2004, Tillamook Cheese Day.
“We love Tillamook,” says Sharon Kleine, who brought her visiting grandson to the event. “They’re us. They’re Oregonians. And they make great products.” Like many proud Oregonians, she takes origin into account when making purchases.
What few people know, however, is that some of the company’s cheeses come from Wisconsin, despite a label identifying them as “Oregon Coast Cheese.”
Here’s what’s up: Four years ago, Tillamook bought the Bandon Cheese company and moved production of its cheeses to Tillamook. But, as WW has learned, its three organic cheeses, which had been made in Bandon prior to Tillamook’s purchasing the plant, were outsourced to a facility in Wisconsin.
The cheese is made according to the original Bandon recipe specifications before traveling to Tillamook in 42-pound blocks via refrigerated trucks to be graded, aged, cut up, wrapped, labeled and shipped for distribution throughout the Northwest. But it’s still made in Wisconsin, from Midwest milk.
In April 2003, Tillamook changed Bandon’s official name to “Oregon Coast Foods,” which is the name that appears on the back label.
The Cooperatives Rigorous Quality Standards Extend To Not Only Its Own Plant Operations But Also Its Process For Auditing Suppliers And Co
Nestled along the Pacific coast in upper Oregon is the town of Tillamook. Its the name given to not only the town itself, but also the surrounding bay, the county in which its located, the local high school and Tillamook County Creamery Association, a 112-year-old cooperative that calls the area home.
The company produces a range of dairy products out of its 299,000-square-foot plant in Tillamook, including its popular family-size and foodservice/scoop shop ice cream. In fact, Tillamook is now the No. 1-selling ice cream brand by volume in the Western United States, the company says, citing data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI.
Milk and cream
The ice cream operations at the Tillamook facility start in receiving, where milk is delivered via tanker trucks from the 80 farmer-owners in the surrounding area that are part of the cooperative.
All the milk produced by our farmer-owners is used in the production of Tillamook dairy products here at our manufacturing facility in Tillamook, says Kristin Holleran, director, plant operations.
Most of the milk at this plant is diverted into Tillamooks cheese manufacturing, Holleran points out. Some of it goes through a separation process that creates skim milk and cream, and that cream, along with nonseparated whole milk, is used in ice cream production.
So all of that stuff goes in before it hits the pasteurizer when it all comes together, he explains.
A safe product
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What About Visiting The Tillamook Creamery With Food Allergies
If you have a food allergy, youll have to read their allergen statement and decide for yourself if you feel comfortable. In general, we steer clear of the ice cream because Garrett has a peanut allergy, and they do use the same equipment for all their flavors, although they do sanitize between. But, we totally feel comfortable with their cheeses and eat them all the time.
Tillamook Wants To Be Nations Favorite Brand
Tim Hearden | Nov 12, 2021
Its been a year since Oregons Tillamook County Creamery Association won recognition as a Certified B Corporation for its sustainable and worker-friendly farming practices. Now the dairy cooperative wants to use that designation to build credibility and trust beyond the West Coast.
The brand well-known to Western shoppers it claims as much as 80% household penetration in the Pacific Northwest is pushing east. Its now in every U.S. state with Costco, Walmart, Target and Kroger, and hopes its burgeoning reputation for sustainability will help it increase distribution.
As we push east, people know us as a product and package, but unless you live in Oregon you probably dont know weve been a values-based company, said Paul Snyder, Tillamooks executive vice president of stewardship. The B-Corporation lets people know that, whether they grew up in Bend , Redding or Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
I think people care about how you do business, Snyder told Farm Progress. We pride ourselves being a very transparent company. Were right out there.
Tillamook has long marketed its ice cream on its high-quality ingredients, using more cream and less air than the industry standard with no artificial flavors or sweeteners, no synthetic colors and no high fructose corn syrup.
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Tillamook Cheese Ships All Over The Us And Is Made Here
Great place to visit with Kids, see how cheese is made and packaged. Gift shop, restraints, and great Milkshakes made with Tillamook Ice Cream
My family and I love Tillamook cheese and were excited to visit the factory and eat at the cafe there, but were a little underwhelmed. We were there the day after Thanksgiving and there were hardly any workers actually making the cheese in the observation area. Then we ordered mac & cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich in the cafe and the sauce on the mac was bland, and the grilled cheese pretty standard. We were imagining something a little more gourmet , and wished we had saved our calories for the ice cream, which was good, but something you can get at the grocery store. I still love the cheese they make, but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to visit the factory again.
Even Better Than Before
We had visited the Tillamook Creamery a while back and knew that a remodel was coming, but found that they did an even better job with the Creamery than we expected! It is even better than before and the signs and views from the upper windows overlooking the production area below are great!! It was not crowded at all as it was when we came during the summer, and we bought several things from the gift store. We had our lunch with us and ate it outside in a covered area on a nice patio. All in all, this is a fun place to visit and to see the actual production of the cheeses we enjoy!
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Finding Good Eats Is Easy
Take a tour of the renowned Tillamook Creamery for a taste of locally made cheese and ice cream . Surrounded by farmer-owned dairy farms, Tillamook is known for its cows. The factory, renovated in 2018, includes opportunities to learn about the farmers and animals who supply milk for the regions cheeseand it offers visitors a behind-the-scenes peek into the cheesemaking process.
But thats not the only cheese game in town. Just a few minutes drive down Highway 101, the Blue Heron French Cheese Company offers wine and cheese tasting and farm animal viewing, including an adorable emu and super-cute goats.
While Tillamook is mostly known for its dairy cows, its also known for beef: Debbie Ds Sausage Factory, the Tillamook Country Smoker, and Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks are all great stops if youre in the mood for meat.
And, you can complement these tasty noshes with a pint of local beer. While youre in town, check out the newest branch of the Pelican Pub and Brewery! The original location in Pacific City draws visitors daily for its iconic beachfront patio and delicious beer. Now, you can enjoy Pelicans reputed brews and bites without leaving the Tillamook city limits.
Or, stop by de Garde Brewing for a selection of sour ales, made with locally sourced ingredients and aged to perfection. Founded by beer enthusiasts, de Gardes top priority is unique brews that reflect Tillamooks wild rootssomething visitors just wont find anywhere else.
The Very Best Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour Ever
It’s a fact: visitors to our oceanfront Manzanita vacation rentals, and friends and family visiting from out of town ALL want to take the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour.
Since I basically grew up coming to our family house at Manzanita Beach, spending the majority of weekends, summers and other school breaks in Manzanita Oregon, I’ve visited the Tillamook cheese factory many, many times.
Okay, so maybe there have been times I sigh, knowing it’s time for another visit to the Cheese Factory. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a #1 fan of Tillamook Cheese. A block of Tillamook Cheddar Aged Vintage White Sharp is my all time favorite.
NOTE: The Tillamook Cheese Factory is current open 11:00 am – 6:00 pm daily during the Coronavirus outbreak. You make take a self guided tour, pick up To Go orders from the Tillamook Cheese Factory restaurant and ice cream counter, or shop their gift shop.
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Cheesy Reasons You Need To Tour The Tillamook Cheese Factory
If you still arent quite sure if you should do the Tillamook Cheese Factory tour, maybe these cheesy reasons will help you decide.
Okay, okay, well stop. Do you still wheely like us?
Seriously, though. The Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour is a great day trip to do with the family for a little bit of fun, some education, and a whole lot of tastiness!
Tillamook County Creamery Association
|1909 112 years ago|
The Tillamook County Creamery Association is a dairycooperative headquartered in Tillamook County, Oregon, United States. The association manufactures and sells dairy products under the “Tillamook” brand name. Its main facility is the Tillamook Creamery located two miles north of the city of Tillamook on U.S. Route 101.
The 48th largest dairy processor in North America, Tillamook posted $654 million in sales in 2015, the trade magazine Dairy Foods reports. TCCA employs nearly 900 people in Oregon and is the largest employer in Tillamook County. The brand is strongest in the West but sells in all 50 states. It routinely wins awards from the American Cheese Society and other groups.
The co-operative includes nearly 100 dairy farms, mostly within Tillamook County. The cooperative markets a number of processed dairy products including cheese, ice cream, butter, sour cream, and yogurt, some of which is manufactured by the cooperative itself, and other products which are produced under licensing agreements with various partner companies. Their most famous product is Tillamook cheese, including the famous Tillamook Cheddar. In March 2010, Tillamook’s Medium Cheddar cheese won the gold medal in the 2010 World Cheese Championship Cheese Contest hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association in Madison, Wisconsin. The cheese scored 99.6 out of 100 points possible, beating 59 other entries.
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Tillamook’s Milk Comes From Cows On Concrete Not Pasture Lawsuit Claims
Tillamook County Creamery AssociationAnimal Legal Defense FundPart of Tillamook’s Dairy Done Right campaign.the lawsuitThreemile Canyon Farms is so large it can be seen from space.Threemile Canyon FarmsA cow stands in its own manure at shuttered Lost Valley Farm.Manure runs into open lagoons at Threemile Canyon Farms.a statementExhibits at Tillamook depict cows on pasture.
If You Love Cheese And Ice Cream You Must Stop Here
Took the self-guided tour and learned about the cheese-making process, which we found interesting. Ate lunch after the tour. Our group tried the grilled cheese, cheeseburgers, cheese curds, and mac and cheese – all were delicious! Of course, we had to try the ice cream too . We weren’t disappointed. It was outstanding!FYI – There was a person at the entrance making sure everyone had on a mask. There are tables both inside and outside to eat on. You can only order ice cream from outside though. We enjoyed this visit, and had to buy some of their ice cream when we returned to our homes in IL.
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But The Question Remains
Most visitors know the Tillamook Cheese Factory and tours of the factory are famous, nationwide. During my childhood, when visits meant wandering around, down on the factory floor, watching the Tillamook Cheesemakers work their magic. In my rose-colored memories, we stuffed ourselves on unlimited cheddar cheese samples all amongst the cheddar cheese vats.
Visiting A Very Merry Dairy
I think the Creamery has done an excellent job of laying out a self-guided tour and providing their history as well. Ate in the cafeteria and had the grilled cheese and chowder. And topped it off with some very delicious creamy ice cream!! Don’t forget to get your picture taken in the Tillamook Bus.
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Explore Our Cultural Heritage
Visit the Tillamook Air Museum, housed in Hangar B, the largest wood structure in North America, built for blimps during World War II. Take a blast into the past at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, right in the center of town. See how early settlers to our region lived, and check out the stories we have from hundreds of years ago: myths, legends and mysteries from the past come alive in the museum.
You can also learn about the regions past at the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center. Check out a mix of vintage textiles and contemporary fiber art by local and nationally recognized artists. Theres an extensive research library and educational resources on the tradition of yarn crafts and fabric art, making this a unique stop on your visit to the Coast.
Tillamook: The Town That Cheese Built
Slip down from the Coast Range on a summer morning, and a fogbank rests like cream atop Tillamook.
After all, the place seems synonymous with every ounce of deliciousness the generous bovines there deliver — the key ingredient in slabs of sweet-cream butter, ice cream scoops stacked high and, of course, hunks of salty cheddar. For Oregonians and consumers grazing dairy cases nationwide, the town, county and brand that shares the name are inextricably linked.
Tillamook is cheese. And this week, the big cheese plans to party. With events in Portland and at the coast, Tillamook County Creamery Association, which makes Tillamook Cheese and is described by some in the industry as North America’s most successful farmer-owned dairy cooperative, will celebrate 100 years in business. It plans to moo over its history, extol its innovations, tout its growth and revel in a welcome twist of tastebud economics:
When times turn tough, Americans buy more cheese.
BILL ROCK’S GRANDMOTHER milked one or two cows, made butter and sold it in Neskowin in the early 1900s. Five generations later, the 83-year-old dairyman’s grandsons help out on the 1,000 or so acres in Cloverdale, south of Tillamook, where his daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Rob Seymour, coax milk from 280 Jersey-Holstein crossbreeds.
Yet, you wouldn’t find Seymour, 51, earning her living any other way.
“It’s all I ever wanted to do,” she says. “I always loved cows.”
TILLAMOOK WASN’T ALWAYS SO cow-centric.
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Tillamook Cheese Comes Mostly From Cows Kept In Concrete And Dirt Feedlots Not Green Pastures Lawsuit Says
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Monday asking a Portland judge to order the Tillamook County Creamery Association to stop advertising that its Tillamook-brand cheese, ice cream, butter and other dairy products come from cows happily grazing on the rolling green pastures of the Oregon Coast.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund says thats deceptive marketing: More than of the milk for Tillamook-brand products comes from cows on the opposite side of the state — including from the nations largest industrialized dairy factory farm in Boardman, 230 miles away in the desert of eastern Oregon, according to the lawsuit. The Threemile Canyon facility — with 32,000 dairy cows and a total of 70,000 cattle — is comprised of concrete or barren dirt feedlots and robotic carousels that milk the continuously confined animals, according to the suit.
Boardman is flat, arid, and often swelteringly hot — nothing like Tillamook County, the suit states. And the mega-dairy in Boardman is so large that it is visible from space.
Within a month, the Animal Legal Defense Fund plans to amend its lawsuit to ask for $200 in compensation for every Oregonian who has allegedly been misled by Tillamook’s marketing campaign, said Amanda Howell, staff attorney for the fund. Because Tillamook products are nearly ubiquitous across the states grocery stores, that could be hundreds of thousands of Oregon consumers, Howell said.
— Aimee Green