This year Marin French Cheese, also known as the Cheese Factory, is celebrating their 150th year anniversary. As the longest continually operating cheese company in the United States, they have an extensive history with the community and the land.
To commemorate this long history, Marin French Cheese hosted a 150th Anniversary Celebration at the farm on June 14 to thank the community of friends, neighbors, employees, and customers that have supported them throughout the years. With many vendors’ products to sample, music from
The Dixie Giants, and free food from Fabrique Delices, there was a strong sense of community at the event. Families gathered around picnic tables and sat on blankets to eat in the sun, others sat on bales of hay to listen to people’s stories and memories of Marin French Cheese.
Attendees heard the compelling history of the Cheese Factory beginning in 1865 with the original founder, Jefferson Thompson, who began selling breakfast cheeses as a protein replacement for eggs during an egg shortage.
Jefferson Thompson’s great-grandchildren, Marilyn and Bob Thompson spoke about their memories of the Cheese Factory during the storytelling time, hosted by local author and historian Dewey Livingston. Marilyn recalls, “Bob did a lot of work out here—driving tractors and keeping the grounds in order—and I would come and pack cheese in the summers and that was my only job here.”
While the Thompsons no longer own Marin French Cheese, they are still connected to the community surrounding the factory. “People who work here became friends of the family and I’m going fishing with some of them,” said Bob Thompson, “The surrounding community became family as well because they’d show up and buy the cheese … and we’re very much appreciative of that.
In addition to hearing stories from the community, attendees were able to witness a cheese making demonstration, learn about beekeeping, talk with Frances Rivetti, author of Fog Valley Crush, and go on a tour of the farm.
CLICK ON PAGE 2 BELOW TO SEE A VIDEO HIGHLIGHTING THE DAY AND LIST OF VENDORS WHO ATTENDED THIS CELEBRATION