Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour - The FPT Team MOBI Report

On our annual team-building retreat, the FPT staff visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory for it's infamous "Free Tour". We were pleasantly suprised that it was also there 100th Anniversary and they were celebrating in style.

Here you see the wooden boat out front and the great big logos on the outside are at top of this post.

We also found this plaque noting a time capsule buried in 1976 here!

Upon entering the self-guided tour area you can choose to sit in a mini-theater and watch some videos about the cheese and look at some wall hangings with more info.

Next, you climb the stairs and can look down upon the huge cheese room #1. This room is where the cheddar is actually sliced up into the loafs, packaged and quality inspected. We watched as the inspector on shift could multi-task - amazing - she was trimming the plastic wrap on one loaf, talking to a co-worker and also yanking cheddar loafs off the belt as they went by.

All along the way we saw signs about sending "cheese mail" - and we were curious. We did find the kiosk and watched as it showed cool videos and talked outloud. Still curious, we pushed one of the buttons and began the process. After a couple of prompts we were suprised that it wanted a credit card inserted and a charge of 5.00. We thought this to be a little bit too much - there was no mention of a cost anywhere before this, and there is PLENTY of things to spend money on after the tour in the gift shop, the chocolate factory and of course the ice cream bar. Anyways, back to the fun!

After this huge viewing window you can round the corner to cheese room #2 - this one is full of huge vats and massive loafs of cheddar. We spotted what we believe was the 'Cheesemaster' monitoring gauges and whatnot. Over here there is also some great vintage cheese machinery and photos everywhere. The FPT staff is very fond of food nostalgia and we spent time looking at all the great stuff.

Upon exiting, there is a cheese sampling area where they serve up little cubes of cheese for all to enjoy at no cost! However, there is more after this. Next you hit the Tillamook Cheese Chocolate Kitchen, the massive giftshop, and the Tillamook ice cream bar. If you have not had the Tillamook ice cream, we recommend you do so ASAP.

Fantastic experience - if you are ever in the area you must go. They are open 7 days a week - some Holiday adjustments.

1 comment:

etathed said...

Simply Awesome. I would love to do that tour. Post of the year material right there.

What was the FPT's Staff Pick of the cheeses being sampled? Was there a favorite? I am sure they are amazing fresh off the line like that.