“Cheese Factory” Celebrates 150 Years!

Mallard at Marin French Cheese Factory
Mallard at Marin French Cheese Factory

Marin French Cheese SignWhen growing up in the area, I always remembered our family visits and school field trips to the “Cheese Factory”.  Taking the tour and watching the cheese making process is a lifetime and memorable experience.  A great spot to ride your bike on country roads making it your half-way point-rest stop for a picnic with a glass of wine, cheese and french bread while watching the ducks swim in the pond.

This dairy started in 1865 during a time the civil war railroads were lined west to east and western immigrants started settling in Marin County to farm the rich coastal territory.

History of Marin French Cheese FactoryAt his West Marin dairy farm just on the border of Petaluma, Jefferson Thompson built deliciously fresh cheese utilizing the dairy from his cows. Thompson could then deliver it to the dockworkers in the Bay Area by schooner. He soon gained recognition for his European style cheeses – smooth – Camembert ripened Brie and a basic treat named Petite Breakfast cheese – and launched a creamery that would ultimately be called Marin French Cheese.


VIDEO UPDATE: #Petaluma’s Laurie Figone gets her shot on the big screen on TNT’s “On The Menu”

                            Photo Courtesy of TNT

Update 10/12/2014:  YouTube video Cooking With Laurie Figone at the 2014 Sonoma County Fair on September 1, 2014; In the first six and a half minutes of this video Laurie tells the story how she came to be on television and the amazing story on how she chose the music for her show and met country western talent Pete Stringfellow, with records like Pole Dance and titles such as It Ain’t Nothin.


This self-proclaimed “cook-a-holic” is a native of Novato and currently resides in Petaluma. Joe Wolfcale of the Novato Advance interviews Laurie Figone a 55-year-old mother of two whose first show “On The Menu” (a cooking show featuring Ty Pennington and chef Emeril Lagasse) will air for the first time Friday, Oct. 17 beginning at 8 p.m. on TNT and will feature the cuisine of California Pizza Kitchen.

Growing up on the Leveroni Brothers Dairy ranch in rural Novato, she studied agriculture at Petaluma High School. She is a proponent of using locally sourced ingredients from Sonoma and Marin County. In the interview she says “There are some delicious things being grown around these parts,” She also goes on to say “My dream is to one day have a sponsor for my show,” Figone said. “Everyone loves Sonoma and Marin, and they all want to know what’s being produced there.”

Click here for the entire interview.