Noelle, what is your favorite Tillamook product?
Loaf LifeNaturally Aged News
Follow @Tillamook on Instagram
I love to take photos of all the cool things and places I visit on the road for the Loaf Love Tour! I try to capture fun pics of what I am seeing, doing, and eating in between all the Tillamook cheesiness! My favorite way to share and edit them is through Instagram! It’s super easy and fun. Adding Instagram filters or cute borders enhances the hundreds of smartphone photos I am snapping everyday all over the place! It’s also a great way for me to see interesting photos from all over the world! I like to follow my friends, some of my favorite celebrities, and brands that I adore so, of course, I follow Tillamook on Instagram! It’s a fun way to always get a little extra Tillamook goodness in my feed because, you know, I’m always a fan of a little more cheese in my life! Since I am a huge VW fan my most favorite Tillamook Instagram photos are of our Baby Loaf VW buses in beautiful scenic locations! Tillamook’s Insta photos always put a little smile on my face!
If you are an Instagram user and a Tillamook fan, be sure to add @Tillamook to your Instagram feed!
Snappin’ pics all over,
Tillamook Makes Me Feel Right at Home
Since January 2011 I have been living on the road representing Tillamook Cheese for the Loaf Love Tour. During this time I’ve met literally thousands of people! Of course the vast majority are Tillamook fans, but I also meet many grocery store employees, staff from Tillamook, sales people, and food brokers. One of my very favorite people I’ve met on tour is Lynn Brown, the Tillamook broker here in Salt Lake City, Utah! Lynn makes sure there’s an abundance of Tillamook products available on local grocery store shelves for Utahns to eat and enjoy. He’s also made me and the rest of the Loaf Love crew feel right at home with his sincere thoughtfulness and hospitality! One of Lynn’s signature lines has gotta be, “You call me if you need anything!” and he really does mean it! He goes out of his way to make sure we’re all extra taken care of while in town.
In true Lynn spirit, last weekend he invited the whole Loaf Love crew over to his house for a Tillamook feast. As our time is winding down here in Utah I was really looking forward to spending time with Lynn and his family before sailing off to Northern California. They put on a tasty meal that did not disappoint. The feast started out with some veggies, dips and chips. They made a special salsa with shredded Tillamook Cheese mixed right in to go with tortilla chips. As my small contribution to the spread, I brought ranch dip made using Tillamook Sour Cream! The appetizers didn’t last for long before the main meal was laid out.
A couple weeks beforehand Lynn had found out that I don’t eat steak or chicken, so he made sure to get some fish for me and cook it well done, just how I like it. To go with the assortment of steak, chicken, and fish they also had salad, fresh corn on the cob with melty Tillamook Butter, and my favorite casserole ever that they called “funeral potatoes” topped with a generous layer of ooey gooey Tillamook Cheese. This was the extra special dish on the menu for me because my grandma makes the same thing and potatoes are my favorite food ever (right behind Tillamook Cheese, of course). I mean, how can you go wrong with potatoes and the World’s Best Medium Cheddar?! You pretty much can’t! Oh boy, everything was delllllllicious! My mouth is melting just thinking about it! Being hotel dwellers, a home-cooked meal is something we on the Loaf Love Tour crew DO NOT take for granted!
But it didn’t stop there…the meal was topped off with Sandy’s special homemade scratch chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting served with a generous scoop of Tillamook French Vanilla Ice Cream. It was all amazing! My coworkers and I were all saying we hadn’t been that full since last Thanksgiving! In addition to an incredibly yummy meal, there was great conversation and a bit of relaxing, too. It was a wonderful afternoon! Thanks to Lynn and his generous family we all got to feel a little bit at home with a Tillamook filled feast. They even packed us up leftovers just like family would do!
Thank you, Lynn, for all you do to help us be successful and feel at home in Utah. We’ll miss ya!
See you soon Sacramento,
Loaf Life on the Road: Hotel Livin’
On the Loaf Love Tour we get asked all sorts of fun questions. The most popular questions are about the buses, but one rather funny question that I’ve been asked many times is if we actually sleep in the buses during the cheese tour! Well, the answer is: no, we stay in hotels. A. Lot. Of. Hotels.
This week we’ll check into our seventeenth hotel since hittin’ the road on February 1 about twenty weeks ago. A few of our hotel stays are just for one night when we’re transiting from state to state, but some stays are as long as two or three weeks. Our longest stay thus far was twenty four nights in Houston. As any of us would tell you, it’s pretty unusual staying in a hotel that long.
All this moving around means constantly moving your luggage. Not only do all of us carry a suitcase with clothes and a backpack with our laptops, but most of us also carry what we’ve coined as a “food bag.” My food bag is a reusable grocery bag filled with a couple kitchen utensils, Tupperware containers and a huge Ziplock baggie filled with condiments I’ve collected from each hotel! I’m also usually toting a box (or two) of crackers because I have to have something to go with the endless supply of tasty Tillamook Cheese (that is a great perk of being on the LLT!). My fellow Brand Ambassador Peppercorny Pakou’s “food bag” should really be called a “sauce bag.” This girl loves to cook up all sorts of yummy Asian food so she’s usually hauling ten or twelve bottles of different sauces to use when we have kitchens in our hotel rooms. Always active Cheddar Coy and Jammin Jason carry sports equipment along with their clothes in their luggage! The lightest packer by far is Dandy Andy with just one single bag!
When we check into each new hotel one of the first things I do is run to the bathroom and check out what kind of shampoo and conditioner I’ll be using for the stay. It’s a small thing, but I get really excited when it’s something special! Then I usually plop on the bed to check out what I’ll be sleeping on after long days of handing out free Tillamook samples.
One thing I always try to avoid, especially when I’ve just check into a new room, is having to tear my neatly packed luggage apart. Usually what happens is that I’m looking for just one small item like a particular lipgloss or a pair of gloves and suddenly I can’t remember where in the world I stashed it in. Often times this is when Hurricane Noelle will surface and all of the sudden my bags are ripped apart while I was searching for the lost item and my room is left looking like a big mess! I do get a little better at packing with each move so by the end of the tour hopefully this doesn’t happen anymore!
It’s a funny thing to say you live in hotels, but that really is what it’s like out here on the road. It’s a pretty unique experience and one I’ll probably never have again so I try to really embrace the challenge of constantly re-packing my bags and enjoy and appreciate all the little hotel perks like clean folded towels, freshly made beds, and the mini bottles of shampoo!
Comin’ to a hotel near you,
Noelle Loaf Love Tour
I Peeked Early … Austin Here We Come!
This week the Loaf Love Tour is pullin’ into Austin, Texas and I couldn’t be more excited! Austin is one of the cities I’ve been most excited to visit on this year’s tour schedule. As a Portland native, I’ve heard great things about Austin, especially that it is similar to my own lovely hometown. A few of my Oregonian friends have even made the move to Austin and have passed along praise about the city. Getting to check out new places is a huge perk while working on the road.
But I have a secret… I actually cheated and got a sneak peak of Austin a couple weeks ago when two of my fellow Loaf Love coworkers and I had a Saturday off. We drove down to Austin to check out the last day of the South By Southwest music festival, and it was awesome! There were people everywhere and live music billowing out of every door we walked by. There was so much to see, hear and take in. Everything and everyone was so cool! The great day in Austin only made me that much more excited to get to spend more time there starting this week!
I’m also looking forward to visiting some of the fabulous restaurants in the area and hopefully I’ll get the chance to try the tasty Tillamook grilled cheese sandwiches offered at a few local eateries as part of our Grilled Cheese Week. If you have any recommendations for must-see’s or must-do’s in Austin, come on by and let me know! Try some of our tasty cheeses while you’re at it!
You can find the schedule of all of our Austin store stops here.
See you in Austin!
Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the Loaf Love Tour!
Howdy y’all! The Loaf Love Tour has just arrived to the great state of Texas! To keep in step with true Texas spirit, we’ve gotten bigger as well – all five buses, including another Daddy Loaf truck and trailer, a second tour manager, and four more awesome, Tillamook lovin’ Brand Ambassadors have joined us to help spread the Loaf Love! I’m still getting to know my new coworkers but the getting-to-know-you phase happens pretty fast when you spend nearly all of your time doing Tillamook-y things and living in hotels together 24-7!
New to the crew this year joining me, Jason and Susan from last year’s tour are Coy (a laid back, avid adventurer from Washington), Drew (an artistic, fellow Oregon Duck alum (Go Ducks!)), Ashley (a chatty, cheery Coug and Walla Wallaian), and Maya (a constantly joking recent grad and born-and-bred Oregonian). To round out the bigger-is-better Texas crew, last week we welcomed the new faces of Asteria (a former tasting room pro who knows how to talk about Yum!), Pakou (a bubbly, creative Portlandian), Alyssa (a music loving, dance-aholic Oregonian Duck), April (a never-met-a-Tillamook-anything-she didn’t-like Portland girl) and Andy (a sport obsessed, outdoorsy Portland State grad). In no time I’m sure we’ll all be one big happy cheese family on the road in Texas! We hope to see some of you along the way!
So far, Texas has started off wonderfully – everyone has been super friendly and helpful! The impeccable manners combined with that endearing Texan accent sure are charming the heck out of me! We’re just wrapping up a couple short stops in west Texas and will be pulling into Dallas this week followed by Austin, Houston and San Antonio over the next three months. The Tillamook Loaf Love Tour is here, and I couldn’t be more excited to be along for the ride!
If you’re in Texas or know anyone who is, be sure to send ‘em our way! We’re waiting with delicious cheese samples and other goodies sent straight from rainy Oregon to the big ol’ state of Texas!
See you on the road,
Follow me on Twitter @Noelle_LLT
Tillamook Loaf Love Tour Training Day
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
Excitement Everyday – The Loaf Love Tour Off-Duty
As a Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador we work five days a week doing all sorts of cheesy business! In between our weeks of grocery store sampling, special events and talking about Tillamook Cheese, we sure do get to have a little fun. Each week we get two days off. We try to make the most of them while we’re in new cities across the Western US, by checking out the local sights!
A couple weeks ago, while in Sacramento, a group of us got up at the crack of dawn to head into the mountains for an exciting white water rafting trip on the American River’s Middle Fork. It was a thrill, that’s for sure! We almost thought the Loaf Love Tour crew was going to flip the raft when we hit a Class IV rapid. But, with the help of our great guide, we all made it – and without a spill into the icy cold waters!
The first week we arrived in Salt Lake City, Susan, Jason and I drove out to check out Bonneville Speed Week, hoping to witness some land speed records set! It was quite a sight – all these souped up cars and motorcycles blazing down a five mile course on top of the Salt Flats! It was so hot and so bright from the white salt ground. We saw all sorts of crazy old cars from the 30s and modern cars doing speeds over 200mph — some nearing 300mph. It was nuts!
I have to say one of the most exciting and special experiences I’ve had since being on tour happened just two weeks ago. I took my very first helicopter ride! It was amazing, and I don’t think I can quite describe how impressive it really was! Susan, Jason and I flew one-way to Denver to meet our helicopter pilot and flew back to Salt Lake City through the Rocky Mountains in a helicopter. The vibrations and sound of being inside the helicopter were so loud. We took off and climbed to elevations of over 12,000 feet to get over the Rockies. While high over the mountains, it didn’t seem like we were going 160mph, but once the helicopter got closer to the ground I could really feel the speed — it felt like we were in a movie! We went over all kinds of diverse landscapes and saw areas that looked completely undiscovered! We saw elk and mountain goats on our ride as well. Tons of thanks go out to our trusty pilot, Lee!
We have just a few weeks left on the 2011 Loaf Love Tour and I can’t wait to see what other sorts of fun we get into! If you have recommendations on how we can spend our days off while in Denver- I’m all ears!
See you on the road (or in the air!),
Noelle, Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador
Lights, Camera, Action!
Last Sunday night the Tillamook Cheese Loaf Love Tour arrived in Sacramento. After a long day I went to bed a tiny bit anxious. My alarm was set for early (5:30am!) to head out the next day to make a morning show appearance on ABC 10 Sacramento & Co. representing the Loaf Love Tour. Not only was I going to be on TV for the first time ever, but it was going to be LIVE TV! I kept thinking to myself, “What if I mess up? What if I stutter? What if I forget all the things I tell Loaf Love Tour visitors every day?!”. Needless to say I was a wee bit nervous.
Sunny 7am came on Monday morning and off I went to make my TV debut along with my bubbly coworker Jenn. We arrived early to the studio in our VW Baby Loaf buses and set them up in the parking lot. We made sure everything was extra perfect. We reviewed the material we were going to be asked and made sure we had our facts down pat.
A little later the camera man came out to start setting up and the host of the show, Jodi, soon came out to meet us and learn a little more about Tillamook. She was so kind and her laid back personality immediately put me at ease. I wasn’t that nervous anymore. Pretty soon the producer was counting down and the cameras were about to roll. And then, we were on air! I got asked the first question, “What is the Loaf Love Tour?!” and off the interview went… Jenn and I were asked questions about Tillamook and about our upcoming events for the Loaf Love Tour in the Sacramento area. Jenn talked about our three award-winning cheeses and even held the microphone for a moment because Jodi was eating and loving our cheese so much! At the end of the segment, all three of us had a Tillamook cheese toast! Overall, it was a neat experience and I now have a new appreciation for ANYONE that’s on live TV!
-Noelle, Tillamook Cheese Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador
PS – The best part about being on Sacramento & Co. was getting recognized by strangers the next few days as “that cheese girl on TV.” How fun is that?!
Loafing Around East Bay
As a Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador, I always look forward to a “Day of Loaf.” I mean, what’s better than taking a whole day just to cruise the streets of a new city and take photos of memorable sights along the way… all while riding in style in the most adorable little Volkswagens anyone has ever seen?! We chat with pedestrians at stop lights about who we are, and we get to make Tillamook lovers happy by handing out coupons and cute buttons, too! Sometimes I just can’t quite believe these are the requirements of my job – I love it!
This last Monday, we explored the streets in San Francisco’s East Bay! With the overcast weather reminding me of my Oregon roots, off we went! All three of our VW Baby Loaf buseswent around Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley, California! We cruised along the Bay in Alameda, went through downtown Oakland, and got plenty of stares as we stopped at Jack London Square for a photo. It always tickles me when I see how amazed onlookers seem when they notice not one, but three little buses made to look like a loaf of cheese! The extra big smiles we get are some of my favorite parts of being on the Loaf Love Tour.
After a yummy lunch and quick drive through UC Berkeley, we wrapped up another fun Day of Loaf! I’m already anticipating the next one coming up in Sacramento later this month!
See you on the road,
-Noelle, Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador
Stories from the Road: Wedding “Cheesecake”
The Loaf Love Tour recently met an awesome older couple in Phoenix who are from the town of Tillamook. They knew my granddad and some of my extended family in Tillamook. They told us that the man pictured on our tent backdrop is Ezra Galloway – amazing! They also told us a story about how they were asked to bring a 40lb loaf of cheese for their grandson’s wedding as his grooms cake. They knew someone at the Tillamook feed store who helped them get a 40lb piece of vintage white cheddar. At airport security, the loaf was unwrapped and security said it was the biggest piece of cheese they had ever seen and nothing like it had ever come through the airport!
It was super cool to talk with people who know so much about Tillamook’s history!
-Noelle, Loaf Love Tour Brand Ambassador
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Beer and Cheese Pairings Sat, December 14
Pelican Pub will be at The Cheese Factory from 12-4pm sampling seasonal ales!
Pictures with Santa at the Cheese Factory Sat and Sun, December 14 -15
Santa is stopping by with his elves from 11am til 2pm to meet you & find out if you have been naughty or nice this year!