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The two RV Gypsies and Karen's sister Ilse Blahak
at the Tillamook Cheese Factory
Tillamook, Oregon,
July 30, 2013

Map of Oregon showing location of Tillamont CountyTillamook Cheese logo

history bookThe Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) is a dairy cooperative headquartered in Tillamook County, Oregon. The association manufactures and sells dairy products under the "Tillamook" brand name. Its main facility is the Tillamook Cheese Factory located two miles north of the city of Tillamook on U.S. Route 101.

The 44th largest dairy processor in North America, Tillamook posted $382 million in sales in 2007, the trade magazine Dairy Foods reports. The brand is strongest in the West but sells in all 50 states. It routinely wins awards from the American Cheese Society and other groups.

The cooperative includes 110 dairy farms, mostly within Tillamook County. Products produced by the cooperative include cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream, and yogurt. Their most famous product is Tillamook cheese, including the famous Tillamook Cheddar. In March 2010, Tillamook's Medium Cheddar cheese won the gold medal in the 2010 World Cheese Championship Cheese Contest hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association in Madison, Wisconsin. The cheese scored 99.6 out of 100 points possible, beating 59 other entries.

Tillamook Cheese sign

There was free admission and free parking at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. The two RV Gypsies say that it is definitely worth a visit here if you are in town or just passing by. Tillamook Cheese Factory offers free samples, a free self guided tour, and a whole bunch of different cheese flavors to purchase, plus really good ice cream. The cheese was outstanding as well. Take the tour - it's fun.

And don't forget to "drive" The Tillamook Cheese Van

Lee Duquette drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Lee Duquette drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Ilse Blahak drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Ilse Blahak drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Karen Duquette drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Karen Duquette drives The Tillamook Cheese Van
Oregon Yum 101 license plate
the two RV Gypsies in a cartoon setting

Karen, Lee and Ilse took the tour to see how cheese is made and they tried some yummy cheese samples.  Then they discovered the ice cream counter!  The ice cream was delicious.

sign about Tillamook cheese

The self guided tour was nice, and it was great to be able to watch the workers from the second level of the factory. Because these photos were taken though a glass window and there was so much artificial light, the color of the photos was terrible, so Karen converted the photos to black and white.

watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
Tillamook logo
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
sign about Tillamook cheese
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
sign about Tillamook cheese
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
sign about Tillamook cheese
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
sign about Tillamook cheese
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
sign about Tillamook cheese
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
watching the workers at Tillamont Cheese Factory
extra large Tillamook Cheese sign
extra large Tillamook Cheese sign
Tillamook Cheese showcase
Tillamook Cheese showcase
Lee Duquette and Ilse enjoy watching the Tillamook Cheese  being made

The outside of the Tillamook Cheese Factory

The outside of the Tillamook Cheese Factory
The outside of the Tillamook Cheese Factory

It was a fun experience watching the cheese production and a lot of stainless steel vats and conveyor belts. The two RV Gypsies recommend this for anyone who spends time on the Oregon coast.  The most fun part was the machine that lets visitors make a free video that automatically got e-mailed to three different e-mail addresses of the visitors choice.

Of course there was a gift shop, plus a cheese sampling station, a fudge kiosk and a cafeteria-style restaurant, and of course the massive ice-cream stand in the middle of it all.  

All in all, it was fun, informative, and interesting, plus it was free to get in.  The two RV Gypsies recommend going at least once, especially if you have kids or love cheese and/or ice cream.  

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