As American cheesemakers it’s always fascinating to learn about the evolution of our industry. It’s particularly interesting to learn about regional sub-markets like the Pacific Northwest. We hope that the Rocky Mountain region will someday have enough cheesemakers to warrant a book on the region!
Here’s one interesting thing we learned from Tami’s research:
Coos Bay could have been Tillamook. Except Tillamook learned the lessons of Ray Kroc before Ray Kroc: Standardization and branding breed trust in the American heart. At the turn of the 20th century, Coos Bay and Tillamook both had a shot at becoming major cheese powers—Big Cheeses, if you will. But Tillamook farmers formed a collective called the Tillamook County Creamery Association and standardized the cheese’s name and texture, so people knew what you were talking about when you said “Tillamook cheese.”