California Cheese Trail Collections
The California Cheese Trail is your one-stop artisan cheese resource - discovering cheesemakers, farm tours, cheesemaking classes and event, and shipping cheese to family and friends (and to yourself, too)!
The Trail was the brainchild of Vivien Straus, who grew up on her family’s dairy on Tomales Bay (in western Marin county) and was keen to help struggling independent farmers stay in business by creating interest in agritourism. Vivien and her brother Michael - who co-manage the family’s farmstead (www.StrausHomeRanch.com) and were also the marketing team that launched Straus Family Creamery - co-manage the Cheese Trail project.
Since it launched in 2011, the trail has spawned a new market, with tours and tastings at farms and creameries becoming increasingly popular for visitors looking for something to do between wine tastings. In addition to the printed map (500,000 printed and distributed since 2010), there’s a mobile app, recommended touring routes and a passport adventure program. It’s been so successful that many of California’s artisan cheesemakers (just under 80 in total) credit the Cheese Trail map with generating up to 80% of their sales.
In 2020, Vivien and Michael created Cheese Trail Home Delivery, curating and selling collections of farmstead cheeses and local delicacies, which directly supports California’s cheesemakers, farmers, and artisan producers, many who have struggled during the Covid-era economic downturn. They offer individual collections, subscriptions and many more offerings at CheeseTrail.org/shop.
Cheese Trail maps can be found at all the open-to-the-public cheese retail locations, including Cowgirl Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company and Marin French Cheese Company in Marin. The Cheese Trail Map is also available to be picked up at the Marin CVB's main office; please be sure to call and arrange a pickup before stopping by the office: 415-925-2060. Address is 1 Mitchell Boulevard, Suite B, San Rafael, CA 94903 (Open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm)