Seattle Cheese on the Move: Dinah’s Headed for Portland
Vashon’s Kurtwood Farms expands its reach.
Seattle has already seen one of its cheesemakers go from local favorite to national phenomenon. Beecher’s—the brainchild of entrepreneur Kurt Dammeier—has become one of our most famous exports, following: 1. word from Oprah that its frozen mac and cheese was her favorite, and 2. the splashy opening of its second shop and cafe (the first is in Pike Place Market) in NYC’s Flatiron District.
And now, another local curd conjuror named Kurt is expanding his reach, starting with the notoriously cheese-loving Portland market. Kurt Timmermeister, owner of Kurtwood Farms on Vashon Island, will soon sell his camembert-style Dinah’s in Oregon, thanks to a deal he made with distributor Provvista.
Timmermeister says Dinah’s will show up in Portland shops beginning in August. And while Provvista will handle some local accounts as well, Timmermeister will continue to take his weekly journey to the mainland, bringing cheese to existing clients. "It is the best part of my week going into my favorite restaurants and stores delivering Dinah’s," said Timmermeister.
To keep up with the new demand, Timmermeister has increased production on Dinah’s from 300 to 500 pieces per week. His second cheese, a Grana Padano-style called Francesca’s, is currently aging in a cave on the farm. Once it is ready to consume, Francesca’s too will likely travel to Oregon.
Timmermeister is currently writing a second book. (His first one, Growing a Farmer, was released last August.) So for now he’s maxed out on how much cheese he can make. Once that book is finished, however, we may see the Kurtwood Farms label in markets more far-flung.