Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Snapshot of the Day :: Tillamook at the Zoo

Last year, the 102-year-old Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA)assembled a group of dedicated personnel and placed them behind the wheels of a small fleet of decorative VW buses. They had never done anything like this before. At least, not in recent memory. Their mission? Travel across the western states to promote the many award-winning products under the Tillamook brand. Referred to as the "Love Loaf Tour," the adventurous endeavor proved to be a great success not only in its simple approach, but also in its grassroots philosophy.

They have since brought the "Love Loaf Tour" back for a second year, and during this past week, the little VW buses parked themselves in front of various locations in the Sacramento area. We were fortunate to catch up with them this past Saturday at the Sacramento Zoo, where nothing but fun was on the agenda: scavenger hunts, walkabout bingo, word scrambles, and of course, the animal exhibits and shows. Prizes were given away as well as all the cheese samples you could stomach!

"Our hope is to introduce ourselves to those who come out and see us and give them a chance to try our best tasting cheeses," noted Andrea, one of the tour hosts. "I love meeting the people. This has been a very rewarding experience for me."

But as good as that all sounded, the cheese and games were not the only highlight. Rather, the Cheese on Wheels or Baby Loaf Buses were sights to behold. According to the handouts, each bus "started out as a standard Volkswagen microbus from the '60s. Roughly five feet from the middle section was removed and the two halves were welded together. The buses were then lowered three inches to improve balance, handling, and performance." With a lot of "loaf and care," each bus was made to resemble a baby loaf of cheese and, over time, have since become automotive marvels.

Not familiar with the Tillamook brand? A quick history. Established in 1909, the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) is a cooperative of 110 dairy farming families guided by century-old values of quality, cooperation, integrity, stewardship and responsiveness. During their storied history, the cooperative has developed itself as one of the top dairy brands in the country, offering not only their naturally aged cheddars, but also a variety of other cheeses, ice cream, butter, sour cream, and yogurt.

The "Love Loaf Tour" has just a few more months left on the road with more stops scheduled in Salt Lake City, Denver, Seattle, Spokane, Portland, and Boise. To see the tour’s full & detailed schedule of stops in Sacramento, please visit their website at For other information, tune into Tillamook Cheese on Facebook or follow @TillamookCheese on Twitter.

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