As a Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador on the road, I get asked several times a day, “So… Have you ever actually been to the Factory?” Well… of course I have! As an Oregon native with family from Tillamook (my granddad was born there!) it’s hard for me to imagine a summer without a stop at the Cheese Factory for some yummy samples and a top-heavy ice cream cone, but visiting as a part of Loaf Love Tour training is an entirely different experience!
We headed out early and arrived to sunny skies and the smell of thousands of local cows…ahhh sweet, sweet Tillamook! Our first stop was at the Factory. This was my first time seeing the new Loaf Love Tour exhibit right in the entrance. Even though I get to drive the real buses, I still (excitedly) jumped in the display bus and posed for a photo with my fellow Brand Ambassadors. Always fun times in the bus!
Next we got to learn more about how the cheese is made. Did you know that each vat of Tillamook Cheddar Cheese is taste tested by real people for quality control? These cheese experts taste the cheese after it’s been aged for sixty days and, based on the flavor, decide if it should be aged longer for Sharp or Extra Sharp, or, if it’s ready to eat as medium cheddar – very interesting! We also got to sample three tasty flavors of Tillamook Ice Cream – Oregon Strawberry, Rocky Road and Oregon Black Cherry – of course they were all delicious. We also got a sneak peak at the 14-story cheese aging area – talk about a ton of Tillamook Cheese! Oh my cheesy goodness!
The real highlight of our visit to Tillamook was getting the unique opportunity to visit a member of our co-op and their working dairy farm. We get asked so many questions about cow care, dairy farming and milk quality that it’s an invaluable experience to see, first hand, what goes on at the farm. We spoke with the farm owner and learned a little more about the dairy industry and the farm’s history. We watched the cows being milked on a modern rotary carousel, which is quite a sight to see! Then we got to go outside and see all the cows! The baby calves are sooooo adorable! We saw several cows that were only a day old and one that was only one hour old – wow!
I am thankful for the visit to Tillamook because it really helps me be able to share, with our fans and new customers, the many reasons Tillamook is so special.
See you on the road,
Noelle, Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador