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Vintage Tillamook Ice Cream cartons

Way back when, in the mid-1930s, a committee of the Tillamook Country Creamery Association (TCCA) board of directors recommended that Tillamook experiment with making ice cream. The committee felt that a small-scale could easily meet any local demand, and the expansion of ice cream production would depend on the success of local sales.

Unfortunately, our archives are lacking in details about what happened after that recommendation. Did we make ice cream or not? We do know that by 1947 ice cream was made locally in small amounts. But it wasn’t until 1949, when the new plant was constructed, that Tillamook really dived into making the sweet treat on a larger scale.

We started with Frosty 4, a 4 percent butter fat ice milk, which came in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry ripple and chocolate ripple; Tillamook Maid, a 10.5 percent butterfat ice cream; and a few novelty items like sundae cups. Tillamook Ice Cream was sold all around town, up into Clatsop County and south to Lincoln County.

In 1972, we began a half-gallon line of premium ice cream in a selection of flavors. With a big marketing push, our ice cream made its way into the Portland market. Being able to enjoy an ice cream cone at an outlet such as the Oregon Zoo gave people outside of Tillamook an opportunity to taste our ice cream and, hopefully, fall in love with it.

Filling Tillamook Ice Cream cartons

Another avenue for making devotees of Tillamook Ice Cream was through our Visitors Center (the Tillamook Cheese Factory). When we expanded the Visitors Center in 1979, a dipping counter was added that could hold 16-tubs of ice cream. Sales grew immensely, prompting the dipping counter to move three different times to accommodate the growing demand before settling in its current spot. Today, the downstairs dipping counters can hold 80 tubs of ice cream!

Stop by the Tillamook Cheese Factory and enjoy an ice cream in honor of National Ice Cream Month!


Larry Criteser

I remember a naming contest for a new Tillamook Ice Cream back in the mid to late 50s. One of my classmates (Donna H.) at Garibaldi Grade School won the contest with the submission of "Frosty Four". My first "punch the clock" job was at the Tillamook cheese factory in Mohler.


August 8th, 2012 at 8:18 am

Tillamook Team

Wow! Larry this is a great story! Thanks so much for sharing! What did you think of the Frosty Four Ice Cream?

- Kelly of the Tillamook Team

August 13th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Jack Takahashi

Years ago in the 80"s we would pack up the car and head up to Pacific Northwest. I love the coastline and we discovered a great place to stay in Newport which became our 'base' for daily trips. Just took one trip to the Tillimook cheese factory and we were hooked. To this day I still use your 'baby loaf' for cooking and I also shred it up because it is much cheaper than buying pre shredded. Our local grocery store carries a handful of your decadent ice cream which we find superior to other brands, just wish they would handle your 'brown cow'

March 19th, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Tillamook Team

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your comment! It makes our day to hear how much you and your family love coming to visit us! You'll be happy to know that we still make Brown Cow Ice Cream - the name has just changed to Udderly Chocolate. I hope you can finally reunite with your favorite flavor! Thanks again for being a long time fan!

All the best,

Callie, of the Tillamook team

March 20th, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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