Travel back in time to see what’s changed since 1909 and, more importantly, what never will.
1851: The Tillamook Valley
The first European settlers arriving in Tillamook Valley find a silver lining to the wet, cool climate. All that rain makes green, green grass: perfect for raising dairy cows.
1854: The Morning Star
Tillamook’s farmers have butter and milk to sell—but hauling it over rough mountain roads takes so long, it would spoil.
The fastest route to Portland is by water, so they build Oregon’s first official ship—the Morning Star—to carry their dairy goods to market.
1894: Cheese King of the Coast
Renowned Canadian cheesemaker Peter McIntosh brings his cheddar cheese-making expertise to Tillamook County, where he teaches the locals all he knows, earning the nickname “Cheese King of the Coast.”
1909: When It All Began
Several small creameries join forces to ensure all cheese made in the Tillamook Valley will be the same high quality. Each creamery contributes $10 to start the cooperative: the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA).
1921: Our First Slogan
Tillamook is officially trademarked! Our first slogan—“Look for Tillamook on the Rind”—let folks know that the cheese wedge they brought home was genuine Tillamook quality. Running ads in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles pays off: sales skyrocket, and demand grows.
1930s: On The Rind
How did we put the name Tillamook on each and every cheese? Read this handheld stamper backward, and you’ll see. In addition to a loaf stamper, we made a flat version so you could roll a round cheese wheel over it. Every TCCA creamery had one.
1931: Highest Quality
High standards, start to finish: that’s how our cheesemakers win awards. Milk inspector Guy Ford, a former farmer, makes sure dairy farmers keep everything on the farm up to TCCA quality standards. Cheese inspector Fred Christensen visits every TCCA creamery, grading the cheese.
1947: Making Ice Cream
We start making ice cream as an experiment, selling our original ice cream brand, Tillamook Maid, around town. When the new plant opens, we swing into full-scale production. By the ’50s, you could buy Tillamook Ice Cream all around town, up into Clatsop County, and south to Lincoln County.
1949: Fueled by Innovation
The new plant features innovative ideas. The triple-deck system in cold storage lets us stack cheese higher without crushing cheese on the bottom. Carl Fenk, on the lift truck, slides a one-ton load of cheese into an empty slot.
1958: Prize Winning
When we say “Tillamook is the prize-winningest cheese,” we’re not talking through our hats. By 1958, when this ad ran in West Coast papers, our cheesemakers had already taken home hundreds of awards—with hundreds more to come from state, national, and world competitions.
1958: Tillie of Tillamook
Sweet-faced Tillie of Tillamook, a little brown Jersey cow, helped us promote Tillamook Cheese for more than 50 years. She popped up in ads as our spokescow, then came to life, so to squeak, as the beloved rubber toy you see here.
1966: Packaging Redesign
Tillamook packaging is redesigned to make it easier for customers to identify genuine Tillamook Cheese. This new packaging incorporated an illustration of our historic Morning Star ship.
1980s: Go Cheesemakers
A big supporter of local schools, we’ve always been proud of Tillamook youth—proud enough to feature the high school football team in a Sunset magazine ad. (Later on, when they needed to rebuild their stadium, we donated $150,000 to get the project rolling.)
1993: Sour Cream Hits the Scene
Introducing: tangy, creamy Tillamook Sour Cream made with high-quality milk, enzymes, and cream. From this day forward, baked potatoes and nachos would never be the same.
1994: Yogurt Debuts
Tillamook Yogurt makes its debut. Fruit finally gets the yummy showcase it deserves, and spoons around the world rejoice.
2001: Second Cheese Creamery
Our farmer-owners clearly see—based on the popularity of Tillamook Cheese—that we need to increase our cheesemaking capacity beyond what’s possible at this creamery.
In 2001, we open our second cheesemaking plant in Boardman, Oregon, with the same recipes, strong values, and high-quality standards. Now, employees in both of our creameries are working day and night to keep up with our fans’ appetites!
2009: 100 Years
We celebrate 100 years as a farmer-owned co-op…hooray! Some of our current farmer-owners are even the great-great-great grandchildren of our pioneering founders.
2010: Loaf Love Tour
We roll out our first Loaf Love Tour, touring the country in custom, bright-orange VW buses on a mission to “Bring tasty cheese to the people!” The tour kicks off in Tucson, Arizona, traveling to more than 100 cities in nine states.
2015: Dairy Done Right
With an audacious new marketing campaign, we put Tillamook’s lasting commitment to quality—Dairy Done Right—in the spotlight. The bold ads take a stand, using straight talk to tell food fans about the dairy choices they make every day.
2016: Great Food Drive
For the 10th year in a row, we sponsor the Great Food Drive, a fundraising campaign to support the Oregon Food Bank’s fight against hunger in our state. Over the years, we’ve donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the food bank provide meals for people in need.
2018: Our New Creamery
Welcome to our new Creamery (take a digital tour here), rebuilt in 2018 to create an even bigger and better experience for generations of Tillamook fans to come.