Samish Bay Cheese

Samish Bay Cheese is owned and operated by Suzanne and Roger Wechsler. We farm about 200 acres in the northwest corner of Skagit County, Washington. On the dairy, close to Samish Bay and below Mount Blanchard and the Chuckanut Mountains, we have a mixed herd, mostly Milking Shorthorns. Our grass-green fields of the Skagit/Samish valley are in an environment well-suited to organic farming.

| It's in the Milk

Samish Bay Cheese makes their cheeses exclusively with organic milk from their own herd of cows. This makes them a farmstead creamery, as the milk never leaves the farm before it is turned into cheese.

Samish Bay’s specialty is soft cheeses, like the ever-popular Chive Ladysmith pictured here. They also make Vache, Queso Fresco, Feta, Mozzarella, Gouda, Cheddar, Montasio, and Farmers Cheese, including a variety of flavor variations among their cheeses. They also make yogurt, labneh, and kefir from their milk.

Photo from Samish Bay Cheese.

| It's a Winner

In January 2021, Samish Bay Cheese’s Vache was one of four Washington cheeses to win a Good Food Award. It is a soft, fresh cow’s milk cheese that is creamy and rich with a slight tanginess. Vache is great to smear on your favorite cheese vehicle and enjoy on its own, but it also goes smashingly with fruit preserves or fresh herbs. You can cook with it, too!

Photo from Courtney Johnson.

| Everyone Has a Favorite

Suzanne and Roger Wechsler own and operate Samish Bay Cheese. If you’re curious what their favorite is among all the cheeses they produce, Roger says, “Aged Ladysmith, which has a wonderfully creamy texture and rich flavor for a young cheese. Vache is a close second.”

Aged Ladysmith is an older version of Samish Bay’s fresh Ladysmith. It is aged for one month, during which time it forms a firm rind that is the same bright yellow color as the cheese’s inside paste. It has a springy, soft texture that is almost gooey. The flavor is tangy, milky, lemony, and super fresh—all while being decadently creamy.

Photo from Courtney Johnson.

| Come and Get it!

Did you know that you can drop by Samish Bay’s retail cheese shop 363 days a year? It’s an easy stop off your next drive up scenic Chuckanut Drive through Bow.

The shop sells all of Samish Bay’s cheeses, yogurt, labneh, and kefir, as well as pickles, beef, veal, pork, and lamb from the farm. Plus there is a selection of goods from other local producers. Samish Bay also sells some prepared foods made from their cheeses, such as cheese balls, cheese dips, and the delightful labneh cheesecake.

If you can’t make it to the store in person, you can pick them up from many retailers in Western Washington or every other week at the farmers markets in Bellingham, Anacortes, Redmond, U District, and Seattle. Samish Bay’s cheeses are available to order their website’s online store and through home delivery businesses such as Pacific Coast Harvest, Savor Seattle, and Local Milk Run. Look for their cheese and yogurt featured on the menus of some restaurants and food service businesses in the state, too.

Photo from Samish Bay Cheese.

| They've Come a Long Way

Before they learned to make cheese, Roger and Suzanne Wechsler were organic vegetable farmers. They decided it was time to try something new, so they began experimenting with making cheeses at home in 1998. In 1999, they bought Samish Bay Cheese, had a few half days of training with the former owner, and started producing cheese for commercial sale. Today they have 18 employees at their creamery, farm, and farm store, and you can find their cheeses all throughout Western Washington.

Photo from Samish Bay Cheese.

| The Fresher, the Better

Samish Bay Cheese specializes in fresh cheeses, and it doesn’t get any fresher than their Ladysmith and Queso Frescos. You can buy fresh Ladysmith or Queso Fresco the same day they are made if you visit the farm shop, and the day after their were made when you get them from the farmers market. In most retailers, you will buy them the same week they were made.

Photo from Samish Bay Cheese.

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