You may already know the brand from grocery stores and farmer’s markets, but be advised that Mt. Townsend Creamery has expanded its cheesy outfit, arriving in Pike Place Market, as we prophesied back in September. Now you can—and should—find Mt. Townsend’s whole catalog of ten cheeses in a tiny glass case near Rachel the Pig.
This prime real estate certainly doesn’t hurt the stand’s already-booming business, but it’s not all that draws in customers. (And draw in customers they do—when I visited, there was a small crowd mobbing around the counter.) The Port Townsend-based creamery sources additive-free, non-GMO milk from Sequim dairy Smith Brothers [not this
Smith Brothers farm in Kent as we stated earlier], and even donates the whey workers separate from their curds to local farmers to repurpose as pig food.
The creamery’s most famous cheese, Seastack, is a briny, soft-ripened number. As it happens, Seastack is what brought us Allyson Taylor, cheese connoisseur and manager of the Pike Place location. “I was living on the East Coast at the time, and I tried some of the Seastack. It was perfect—so Pacific Northwest.” Two months later, she was in Seattle.
Allyson has been with the company for three months, making and promoting cheese in the flagship location until she set up shop in Seattle two weeks ago. Before that, she slung cheese at Savour Specialty Foods in Ballard.
There’s an obvious comparison to draw between Mt. Townsend and longtime Pike Place stalwart Beecher’s, but Allyson insists that the two shops are uncompetitive and even work as partners. “They sell our cheese,” she says. “We’re two completely different kinds of creameries. They make cheddars; we don’t. We send people over to them all the time, and they send people to us.”
You can find a few Mt. Townsend products at Whole Foods, but you’ll have to visit the Pike Place outlet to get your hands on some of their more obscure cheeses, including Trufflestack, a black truffle and salt-infused version of the classic Seastack, and rich, buttery jack New Moon. Not that you’d want to avoid the shop, anyway—its sample-laden counter and knowledgeable, passionate staff are big pluses.