Bandon cheese woes

Among other things, Bandon, Oregon is known for two things: cranberries and cheese. Whenever we’ve been to Bandon we’d stop at the Bandon Cheese store and indulge in a bit of tasting and shopping. Not long ago, though, someone told me that the Tillamook Creamery had bought and made Bandon Cheese, though still sold it under the Bandon label.

Now I see that Tillamook has closed the Bandon cheese store completely. So, now you can’t even buy Bandon cheese in Bandon? That’s just dumb. What’s worse, the cheese is now being made in Wisconsin—Tillamook can’t even be bothered to make their own cheese?

They’re even goofier than that, according to the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project article I linked to above:

Another aspect of the sordid Tale of Tillamook and Bandon encompasses Tillamook’s misguided pursuit of its newly acquired “Bandon” trademark. Tillamook threatened the city of Bandon, Oregon with a lawsuit for violating its intellectual property by using the name “Bandon.”

Threatened the city itself for violating the trademark? Uh, hello?

Lee on RoguePundit has more on the closure and goofy Tillamook practices, too. Of course, he has a good point:

At one time, the purpose of the store wasn’t just sales, but promoting the brand. Since the brand looks rather hollow when the cheese has to be imported for sale, maybe it’s better to not remind folks that the Bandon Cheeses are just flavors that can be made anywhere. The attractive label with the Coquille River Lighthouse is just marketing.

Although the flavors can’t necessarily be “made” anywhere; cheese acquires some of its characteristics from the types of food the cows (or goats, or whatever milk-producing animal) eats, and that can certainly be regional.

Anyway, I just thought it sucked. That’s one less neat thing about Bandon, and that much more unemployment for Oregon.