Samish Bay Cheese
“Samish Bay Cheese & Whey More …”
Those are the words that greet you when you pull up to Samish Bay Cheese, sitting in the shadow of Mount Blanchard, in Skagit Valley. This creamery has been making its selection of delectable organic cheeses since 1996, but it was in 1999 that current owners Suzanne and Roger Wechsler took the reins of the operation. For anyone visiting the lush pastures and tulip-rich fields of the Skagit region, it’s a must-stop.
While the farm encompasses around 150 acres, the shop and production facility sits on about 50 acres of that land. Its 40 cows are Milking Shorthorns, with some crossed with Jersey, Holstein, or Dutch Belted breeds. Shorthorns are a British breed of dairy cattle known for their fertility, grazing efficiency, and longevity. They are milked twice a day in their onsite 3000 sq-ft. plant complete with a farmhouse believed to be constructed in the 1800s, two large barns, pasteurizing vats, four temperature-controlled rooms for aging and refrigeration, and 20 loyal employees.
Over the years, Samish Bay has gained quite a following in our region. Their local farmers market stalls are a magnet for cheese lovers with their selection of fresh and aged cheeses, yogurt, labneh, kefir, as well as beef, veal, lamb, and pork offerings. Their certified organic dairy uses only milk from their own animals, and it shows up in their bright flavors.
We’re thrilled to be carrying the “creamy and spreadable” Samish Bay Vache, a 2021 Good Food Award-winning cheese that’s rich with a hint of tartness, and heavenly on everything from bagels to fresh fruit. Side note: If you’re ever visiting Samish Bay, watch out, Roger will totally correct your pronunciation of “Vache” if you’re not saying it with the French long “ah.”
And that mountain we mentioned earlier? It’s the namesake of the Mt. Blanchard Cheddar, a mild farmstead cheddar with subtle notes of mushroom and oak.
Try these “whey-mazing” Washington cheeses (it’s okay if you groaned at that) and add some Vache or Cheddar to your next order today!