I love ice cream. And I love cheese. When Ann and I realized our trip along the Oregon coast would take us through a town named Tillamook, we wondered if God loved us so much that he put the factory of our favorite cheese right in our path. It turns out, He did!
Of course, we had to stop. This is where the good cheese, the cheese we buy in huge blocks from Sam’s Club, the cheese we lovingly grate by hand when cooking delicious, cheesy recipes, is born! We pulled in to the surprisingly (well, I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised because it’s a cheese and ice cream factory) full parking lot of the Tillamook Creamery and headed toward the door.
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About the Tillamook Creamery
Inside, we found a great display on the family farms that have come together to create Tillamook products. Their website proudly proclaims the company has been “Farmer owned since forever. Doing things right since always.” Though the visitors center was undergoing a renovation, we still enjoyed seeing the displays showing what life is like on those family farms and how they make the milk and other products using only all-natural ingredients and simple, time-tested recipes. We especially enjoyed this fun chart showing the roles the farmer, the cows, and even the family dog play in dairy production.
The store and cheese samples!
Next, we headed over to the store because that’s where the real action was. I’d like to say that I calmly entered and strolled around, but let’s be honest. I made a beeline for the cheese samples.
Gouda and cheddar and jack cheese, oh my! I’m pretty sure that heaven will have cheese samples set up on every corner. The best part is that you could buy some of your favorites and take them with you, whether you wanted the cheese pre-cut or in snack sizes…
…or if you wanted small chunks of it vacuum packed!
Just look at all the cheese!
arBut that wasn’t all they had to offer. Indeed, the creamery also produces delicious farm style greek yogurt, milk, and butter.
We were so excited that we could buy a few small blocks of cheese and tubs of yogurts to take with us. Our plan was to stay in an Airbnb in Oregon wine country and we needed breakfast as well as something to go along with the wine we were sure to buy. This covered us on all counts!
To top it off, we even did a little shopping in their souvenir shop. Who can’t agree with the sentiment on these cups?
Tillamook ice cream
Then, we walked around the corner. Suddenly, I was steps away from one of my greatest joys in life: a huge ice cream shop. To make it even better? There was virtually no line!
I can’t begin to tell you the excitement I felt when I learned that delicious cheese was just the start for this company. You see, ice cream is one of my most favorite foods. And when I find two dozen flavors to choose from? Well, that just makes the moment even more special.
Once at the counter, I was confronted with even more choices. Not life altering choices, but little choices like do you want your happiness served in joy, delight, exultation or jubilation? See what I mean?
I began eating my creamy, smooth, and delicious ice cream before I remembered that we needed a photo. Thankfully, Ann remembered to snap a pic of hers. Oh, and I promise I wasn’t as reserved as she was on the size; I think I had a double scoop in a chocolate-dipped cone with chocolate sprinkles.
Tillamook ice cream in Pawhuska, OK
We left the dairy, and I felt a certain sense of disappointment. I knew that we could get a few Tillamook cheeses in our area, but was sad I had no way to reconnect to the ice cream I’d just come to love. Until now, anyway. You see, The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, bless her, selected Tillamook ice cream for her new Pawhuska ice cream parlor, Charlie’s Sweet Shop! (Read more about that HERE).
Yes, now I can just hop in the car and in about three minutes be strolling into her glorious new store. There, I can choose from among about a bazillion flavors of delicious Tillamook ice cream which are then topped with fresh-baked toppings from her bakery at The Merc! And guess what? So can anyone who comes to visit Pawhuska, our wonderful little town in Osage County, Oklahoma.
As I think about it, Tillamook ice cream is a great fit for Ree and Ladd Drummond and their ventures. After all, they have a lot in common. For instance, both are owned by families who raise cattle and work the land. And, if you’ve tried one of Tillamook’s products or been to Pawhuska to see all the Drummonds have done here, you know that both have done things right since always.
A gratuitous photo from the Oregon coast
Because we LOVED our trip there and were simply knocked out by its beauty, I thought I’d toss in a photo from the Oregon Coast for no reason other than it’s a stunning view I wanted to share. Enjoy it while I go enjoy another scoop of ice cream at Charlie’s!
Have you ever tried Tillamook ice cream or cheese? Let us know your favorite flavors in the comments below.