Tillamook: A Naturally-Aged Story

The Tillamook story has been well-aged, like our cheese!
Come along with us on our journey.

Let's get started

Tillamook Story

An award-winning, farmer-owned dairy co-op from Tillamook, Oregon.

That's us! Tillamook is our home
(yep, it's a real place).

It rains a lot here in Oregon, which is good news for our cows. More rain = better grass to eat, making this an ideal climate for dairy farming.

We treat our cows like family. In Tillamook County, there are actually more cows than people! There are so many of them here, we wish they could be counted in the official census.

Our Promise

We take pride in doing things the Tillamook way.

From our family to yours, we love sharing our commitment to the best quality dairy products.

Taste

Care

Quality

Tillamook

Every day we bring you the tastiest, highest quality dairy products.

Each one of us takes pride in what we do. You can see it in our level of care, and taste it in every bite of our dairy products.

(And we're proud that our cheese recipe has been winning awards for over a century!)

“The fact that it’s a farmer-owned cooperative gives additional value to the work here.”

Patrick Criteser, President/CEO

Our History

Over 100 years of
cheesemaking expertise.

“Tillamook” is a Native American word for “Land of Many Waters.” And it’s true: we’ve got 5 rivers, 5 bays, and the Pacific Ocean.

The first settlers arrived in the Tillamook Valley in the 1850s (covered wagons and all). The climate, water sources, and constant rain were ideal for dairy farming: cows love nutritious grass, grass loves rain, and rain loves the Tillamook Valley.

Transporting dairy goods by land was tough, so in 1854 we built the Morning Star ship to carry our dairy goods to market. The Morning Star is now on our logo and packaging, as a symbol of our dedication to bringing Tillamook to you.

ORIGINAL RECIPE

In 1894, Peter McIntosh, once known as the "Cheese King of the Coast," brought cheddar making expertise to Tillamook. That's a well-aged recipe.

FARMER-OWNED

In 1909, a series of small creameries joined forces to form the Tillamook County Creamery Association and produce official Tillamook Cheese. This farmer-owned co-op ensured high quality from that day forward.

For over 50 years, our fans have been in love with Tillie, a cartoon brown cow that we introduced in our ads and as a beloved children’s squeaky toy.

On the Farm

Every one of our products starts in the same place: on the farm.

4:00 AM

Farmers start the day before sunrise, waking for the first milking. Cows must be milked twice a day, every 12 hours.

11:00 AM

Farmers are Jacks- and Jills-of-all-trades. During the day they tend the cows, nurture their land, manage the farm’s business, and more.

5:00 PM

A farmer’s workday never ends. It's more than a job, it’s a way of life – 24 hours a day, every day.

We're made up of nearly 100 farmer families. Most families have been farming in Tillamook County for multiple generations.

“We have to start with a great product to get to a great cheese. It’s only as good as the milk you start with.”

The Seals Family

Our cows work hard too, every single day.
Let’s meet them.

  • Dutch Belted

    They're named for the white "belt" circling their whole body.

  • Ayrshire

    Red and white and covered in spots; they have long, straight faces.

  • Milking Shorthorn

    These dairy cows were originally bred in northeast England.

  • Holstein

    A Holstein's spots are just like human fingerprints; no two patterns are alike.

  • Brown Swiss

    These large, fuzzy-eared cows originated in Switzerland.

  • Guernsey

    These cows have golden colored milk, which is unique among cows.

  • Jersey

    These super cute, doe-eyed cows have the richest milk of all.

You have the farmers to thank for the high quality milk in our dairy products. And if you see any of our cows, be sure to give them a huge thanks as well!

When fresh milk leaves the farm, it’s on its way to becoming a tasty Tillamook dairy product.

1 million cheese-lovers
visit us every year.

Visit the Cheese Factory for a sneak peek at how we do what we do. You can see where the cheese gets made!

(And maybe try some fresh Squeaky Cheese Curds too!)

See for yourself

You're invited into our factory to see the cheesemaking process. Take a look for yourself.

Last stop

When our cheese leaves the factory we’re always sad to say goodbye, but we know it’s going to make people happy!

“I really enjoy knowing that my family is going to enjoy these products, and they know when they taste this product that I’ve tested it.”

Jill Allen, Manager of Product Quality

Try your own taste test with fresh samples at the factory. A toothpick never looked so special!

Our products

Medium Cheddar Baby Loaf

The term "Baby Loaf" was first used to describe a 2 lb loaf of Tillamook Cheese in 1935.

Ice Cream

We've made ice cream for over 65 years. Current fan favorite? Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Yogurt

We love using local Northwest berries, including marionberries, strawberries, and bing cherries.

Butter

Butter was the first dairy product made in the Tillamook Valley, in the 1800s.

Sliced Cheese

The best friend a burger (or grilled cheese, or panini, or sub) could possibly ask for.

Sour Cream

Our Natural Sour Cream is made with only three ingredients: cream, milk, and enzymes.

Sharp Cheddar Baby Loaf

Patience pays off. Nine long months of patience, that is. All for sharp, full-bodied flavor.

Shredded Cheese

We fit the whole party in a bag. Our Italian and Mexican shreds add culture to any meal.

Take a peek at how our fresh milk becomes cheese and ice cream.

Cheesemaking

SUPER FRESH MILK

Milk arrives at the cheese factory within 1 hour of leaving the farm.

LOTS OF MILK

A whole lot of milk goes into our cheese: 20 lbs of milk just for a 2 lb Baby Loaf.

FARM TO LOAF

Milk from the farm is turned into cheese within 24 hours of arriving to the factory.

“Cheesemaking runs in my family. We all grew up on a farm.”

Dale Baumgartner, Head Cheesemaker (He’s been making Tillamook Cheese for over 45 years!)

One of our main ingredients is patience. Once our cheese is made, it takes time to naturally age and develop its award-winning taste.

  • Medium
    Cheddar

    60

    days

  • Sharp
    Cheddar

    9

    months

  • Special Reserve Extra
    Sharp Cheddar

    15

    months

  • Vintage White Extra
    Sharp Cheddar

    2

    years

  • 3 Year Vintage White
    Extra Sharp Cheddar

    3

    years

60

Days

Ice Cream

28 creamy, mouthwatering ice cream flavors. Grab a cone, grab a bowl, just don’t let it melt before you finish!

“I have a happy job: I get to come to work every day, make a different flavor, and go up front and see the kids eating, families sharing.”

Matt Petty, Ice Cream Manager

Yum to you

HITTING THE ROAD TO BRING great tasting cheese TO THE PEOPLE.

We believe so strongly in the quality of our cheese, we want to bring it directly to you. So we introduced the Loaf Love Tour, a road trip of epically cheesy proportions (including the adorable Baby Loaf Buses!).

Since 2010, we’ve been to 575 cities and we’re still expanding our road trip to reach new destinations and new cheese fans. Hopefully we’ll be coming to a city near you!

See Schedule

Can you believe that not everyone has tried real, natural cheese? We want to change that.
Help us by sharing your Tillamook story!

Share your story

WHERE TO BUY

Help support our farmers by buying Tillamook. Look up where to find Tillamook in your neck of the woods.

STAY IN TOUCH

Join our email list and we’ll keep you posted on the latest and greatest in the Tillamook universe.

Thank You!

From our family to yours, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We wouldn’t be here without you. Really. Thanks for sharing our passion, care, and commitment to yummy dairy products. Sounds cheesy, but hey, that’s our kind of thing.