Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

August 10th, 2006

Beecher's @ Pike PlaceName: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Owner: Kurt Dammeier
Location: Seattle, WA
Animals: Purchases milk from two cow dairies nearby downtown Seattle. One dairy has 120 cows and the other has 80. The breed breaks down to 80% Jersey and 20% Holstein between the two dairies.
Cheeses/Products: Flagship, Just Jack, Marco Polo, No Woman, Cheese curds (plain and flavored), Blank Slate (plain and flavored), Cultured Butter, some prepared foods too including Mac n’Cheese made with their own Flagship cheese.
More info: www.beechershandmadecheese.com

Kurt Dammeier is the first to admit that he kind of backed into the cheese business… he found the perfect location for cheesemaking, signed a lease and went in search of milk, a cheesemaker, and a recipe after setting up his cheesemaking room. Milk turned out to be surprisingly tough to find in the quantity and, more importantly, of the quality he needed. There were a couple dairies interested in working with him- largely because of recent changes in the local milk coop structure.

Kurt showing how to press

Beecher’s works with two dairies today, one has 120 cows and the other has 80. The mix has a Jersey majority with Holsteins making up the difference. This was done intentionally to get the right components for the cheese Beecher’s wanted to make. One of the farms that Beecher’s works with didn’t have the capital to invest in additional Jersey cows so Kurt purchased the cows to help them grow the herd.

We met Kurt in his office across the street from Pike Place Market. He talked us through his various businesses and partnerships and we began to understand that Kurt entered the cheese business with a different kind of thinking than most of the people we’ve visited. Knowing that he had capital to invest up front he decided to fill some holes he saw in the market. For example, he went with cows because most smaller farms opt to work with goats or sheep (they are easier to manage physically, require less land mass and are cheaper to purchase), and he created a cheese that ages for a year so as not to compete with others who might be operating on a tighter cash flow turn around than he needed to do. Basically he looked at the artisan cheese industry as a whole to understand where he could add value given that he had a certain amount of capital to invest and that his goal in this venture was to educate people about where their food comes from and how it is made.

CheddaringWe took a tour of his shop in the market which is also where his two large cheddar vats are (10,000 pounds/1,000 gallons of milk each)- a corner location with huge windows designed to achieve Kurt’s primary goal for Beecher’s: education. Around lunchtime the crowds swarm around the windows to watch cheesemakers working on the signature cheese called Flagship- a cross between cheddar and gruyere. They can stroll into the shop and taste fresh cheese curds and sample other Beecher’s cheeses. Outside of cheeses made by Beecher’s , the shop is focused on local, whole foods (no additives, preservatives, trans-fats, etc.). Other non-Beecher’s cheeses come from surrounding states- Montana, Oregon, California and of course other Washington state producers.

Kurt drove us out to one of the dairies they work with about 35 minutes outside of Seattle’s city center. As we drove Kurt explained the Beecher’s internal review of each batch of cheese. A select group of employees tastes every batch and determines whether it will go to the cheese counter to be sold as a table cheese, into the Beecher’s food products (i.e. mac and cheese), or gets held back to be submitted to upcoming competitions. Kurt shared some of his thoughts on the surge of cheesemakers entering the market. He said that, “…rising tide floats all boats,” sounding like the entrepreneur he is. He feels confident that quality always pulls through and that competition pushes all in the industry to do better. Part of this confidence most likely comes from his experience as an investor in Pyramid Brewery and weathering the sea change in the micro-brew business.

The farm he took us to is called Cherry Valley Farm and has been a cow dairy since the turn of the century. The gentleman who runs it today is the third owner since the homestead and when he purchased it in 2002 it was not in operation. Slowly he is making structural improvements to the facility. We checked in on the calves and wandered out to the free stall barn where the ladies were milling about awaiting their next feeding. The farmer puts the cows out on grass as much as he can but rain prohibits him from relying on grass for a steady percentage of feed thus the cows are fed a total mixed ration (silage, grain and hay). The farm is working towards growing 100 acres of corn so they can produce their own silage. While we talked to the farmer we enjoyed watching the Holsteins and Jerseys- quite a size difference between them- feed side by side.

Jersey & Holstein

Given that Beecher’s Handmade Cheese only began in 2002, it is awesome to see what a fixture it has become in the Pike Place Market. We were intrigued, but not particularly surprised, to hear that Kurt is tinkering with the idea expanding to have a farm of his own someday… knowing Kurt someday could be next week.

Entry Filed under: Travel, Photos, Beecher's Cheese

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Calendar

August 2015
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Most Recent Posts


  • chihiro to love ru download
  • addictive tower defense download blackberry
  • club penguin money maker download baixaki
  • bryant regular font download
  • cisco lan switching fundamentals download
  • bizzle the messenger 2 download free
  • beastie boys music download free
  • airborne toxic event duet download
  • a cabana na floresta download gratis
  • choque de reyes ebook download
  • cd rw software free download
  • cd da eliana infantil download
  • club dogo chissenefrega download zippy
  • bibi blocksberg hA¶rspiel download rapid
  • arindy mc bratu mp3 download
  • cd mc martinho para download
  • canon photostitch download mac lion
  • castle ville cheats engine download
  • ati 7000 64mb driver download
  • alle gronkh folgen download
  • amd catalyst 11.9 free download
  • aggressive zone mp3 download
  • casper so perfect download zippy
  • cd flora matos download gratis
  • autocad mechanical drawings download
  • a ha music video download
  • a r rahman connections download
  • 20 20 design download crack
  • asus m2npv vm drivers download
  • chilly down david bowie download
  • canon mp510 scanner download
  • alice maciel download cd ao vivo
  • boban rajovic luda glava download
  • burn notice download mkv
  • ar rahman hero download
  • chasing cars remix download
  • apostila mpu download gratis
  • animo wisin y yandel download
  • 1408 lektor pl download
  • cinema paradiso download legendado avi
  • angra aqua para download
  • android autostart killer download
  • cd acreditar playback download
  • autocad eletrica 2011 download
  • blaxy girls download mp3
  • check download speed of my broadband
  • boot.ini windows xp sp2 download
  • can you download nuketown 2025
  • bitwa o A›rA?dziemie patch download
  • chelle tonight tonight download
  • bad rabbits neverland download mp3
  • amor de ninguem perola download
  • andrea bocelli download free mp3
  • 2001 dodge stratus manual download
  • automatically download new files ftp
  • avioes setembro 2012 download
  • barA?o vermelho discografia download gratis
  • 1 day 2009 soundtrack download
  • autodata 3.18 download gratis
  • automatically download from icloud
  • blip tv download video online
  • autocad structural detailing 2013 download
  • cem adrian sen benim download mp3
  • aunque mis ojos mp3 download
  • apostila de eletrica residencial download
  • 3d origami step by step illustrations free download
  • adera melewatkanmu free download mp3
  • amar vanga ghore mp3 download
  • choot vol 4 download
  • cartA?o de visita informatica download
  • cessna 172 flight simulator download
  • bongo bong robbie williams download
  • chaotic download para nds
  • bruce almighty download dual audio
  • amtlib.dll 64 bit crack download
  • acampamento do papai download avi
  • canon mx300 download for mac
  • canon 287 driver download
  • anak liar sofea mp3 download
  • canon photostitch software download free
  • chaka chaka de la calle download
  • amazon vod download to pc
  • ashamed of the gospel download
  • 4shared download when i was your man
  • animacje na telefon download free
  • 180 days after last download
  • automatically download file using php
  • carita de angel download larry hernandez
  • 0168 mario kart ds download
  • besito de colores mp3 download
  • canon s40 driver download
  • a data c802 driver download
  • arrietty dvd cover download
  • bhadra songs download southmp3
  • biryani movie songs free download
  • cargo bridge download for pc
  • allen carr hA¶rbuch download
  • blaxy girls dear mama download hotfiles
  • cantando na chuva download filme
  • asus wl 167g software free download
  • canon mx300 download scanner
  • breakeven music video download
  • blackberry 9520 maps download
  • arkaos grand vj download free mac
  • chrome os live cd iso download
  • 7554 full version download
  • apokalips x full movie download
  • cariA±o mio juan gabriel download
  • am pm yoga video download
  • camscanner apk android download
  • asus p7h55 m bios download
  • banda catedral download dvd
  • beastie boys remix download
  • bird songs android download
  • break even free download song
  • chris rene trouble download
  • cd do falamansa 2011 download