In Seattle’s Pike Place Market and New York City’s Flatiron district, visitors to Beecher’s glass-walled cheesemaking kitchens witness first hand the crafting of our signature favorite, Flagship cheese, as well as many of the other award-winning cheeses we offer. By starting with fresh, pure milk from local farms and applying the traditional methods used by cheesemakers for thousands of years, our cheeses are free of artificial ingredients - making them just as delicious as the milk they are made from.
In 2003, Kurt Beecher Dammeier opened his first Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. For Kurt, Beecher’s fulfilled an ambition beyond just making great cheese. He has long felt passionately about eating food free of harmful additives and preservatives. That’s why everything we produce, from the handcrafted cheeses to the delicious side dishes and crackers, is authentic, original, full-flavored food made with ingredients we trust and are proud of.
Home base: Seattle's Pike Place Market
In 2002, Kurt was walking through Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market and noticed that a long-time tenant had closed up shop. Inspired, he called the landlord, returned to his office and announced they were going into the cheesemaking business.
Kurt believes people should know more about the food they eat – where it comes from, what goes into it, and how it is made. The Pike Place Market location, a Seattle mecca for fresh produce and handcrafted items, provided the opportunity to nearly encircle the cheesemaking kitchen with windows, allowing a live demonstration of all three of those tenets.
The vision becomes a reality
Soon after acquiring the space, cheesemaking equipment was purchased piece-by-piece to fit into the 1,000 square foot glass-walled kitchen.
A chance meeting connected Kurt with a local farmer and his herd of healthy Holstein and Jersey cows in Duvall, Washington. Working with local dairies guarantees that Beecher's can ensure the cows are humanely treated and fed only high quality feed without added recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBST).
Let them eat cheese!
On November 20, 2003, Beecher's Handmade Cheese opened its doors to the public and became the only artisan cheesemaker in the city of Seattle. Seven days a week, fresh milk is pumped into the holding tanks at our cheesemaking kitchens. Then the day-long process of cheesemaking begins. Under the skilled direction of the cheesemaker (and with a little help from the cows), the end result is a wholesome, authentic cheese - full of flavor and high in nutrition.
Best Cheddar in North America
Flagship Reserve, Beecher's clothbound and open-air aged cheese, is awarded 2nd Place Best of Show at the 24th Annual American Cheese Society cheese competition, becoming the highest rated cheddar-style cheese in the country.
Flatiron district in New York City
In June 2011, after much research on how to start a cheesemaking kitchen in America's most populated city, Beecher's opened its doors to New York City's Flatiron district with a new store, cafe and restaurant.
Staying true to sourcing only local, premium milk for cheesemaking, the milk used to make cheese in New York City is from Holstein and Jersey cow dairies just south of Albany.
Best Cheese in North America
In August 2012, Beecher's Flagsheep cheese received the highest honor given to American artisan cheeses at the American Cheese Society annual competition - the coveted Best of Show, beating out over 1,700 cheeses from Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
In 2015, the success of Beecher’s cheeses exceeded the capacity of our Seattle and New York City cheesemaking kitchens and Beecher’s bought an equity stake in an existing cheesemaking operation in Monroe, Wisconsin.
Called Maple Leaf, this operation is the perfect outlet for future growth. While the Monroe operation is not open to the public, it follows all of the same cheesemaking strategies we’ve employed for over a decade, from the quality of the milk to the skill of the cheesemakers and their hands-on techniques.
Best Clothbound Cheddar in America
At the annual American Cheese Society competition, Flagship Reserve was once again named the best clothbound cheddar in the country!