Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

This post was created in partnership with Kroger and Tillamook. All opinions are our own. 

 Any Tillamook fans out there? A few weeks ago, Alex and I traveled to Detroit to celebrate the expansion of Tillamook at Kroger stores nationwide! We live in Indianapolis, so we hadn’t yet enjoyed Tillamook products in our state. Everyone we know on the West Coast raves about Tillamook cheeses and ice creams, so we’re stoked that we can now find them at our local Kroger, which is walking distance from our house! 

The fantastic Sarah of Broma Bakery lives in Detroit, so she hosted us and 14 other amazing creatives in her city to celebrate the Tillamook launch into Kroger stores on the East Coast! Here are 6 things we loved about what was dubbed the “LegenDairy” weekend!

*AND before we start, here’s a video about the weekend! Watch for a few quotes from me :)

1. Cheese tasting with an expert cheese judge.

How cool is this? Jill Allen works for Tillamook and is an expert cheese judge! She travels the world judging cheese and knows all the intricacies of looking for the perfect flavor, texture, and color. Jill taught us how to pull a cheese plug from a 40 pound block of cheese–the plug is a small a cylinder of cheese that tasters use EVERY DAY to taste the quality of the cheese. Can you imagine doing that for your job?!

It’s amazing how much time and energy is put into just the cheese making at Tillamook, let alone the other products they produce. Alex and I were impressed by Tillamook’s commitment to quality and the passion for the craft: Jill was literally jumping up and down with excitement talking about what she “gets” to do for her job! We were also happy to learn that Tillamook is a farmer-owned and led co-op, which gives us even more confidence about the quality and thoughtfulness that goes into their operations.

Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

2. Dining at an epic dinner party & brunch.

Our first night in Detroit, our hosts set up an incredible dinner party at event space Brooklyn Outdoor, with food by chef Sarah Welch of Detroit’s new restaurant Marrow. Check out the tablescape below. #Goals, right? Every detail of the table setting was intentionally crafted, and the menu highlighted products from Tillamook and Kroger, including Kroger’s Private Selection and Simple Truth lines (I remember a tasty Private Selection Apple Honey Vinaigrette). For our final day, we had another epic brunch in the same space, this time with a bright and colorful theme. The shakshuka and rhubarb pie were huge hits!

Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

3. Styling a fantastic cheeseboard.

One of the creative activities on this getaway weekend was building and styling a cheeseboard. Sarah of Broma Bakery shared her expertise: start with three large blocks of cheese and place them on the board. Then, place the smaller accouterments around the cheeses: grapes, apple slices, almonds, mustards, jellies, and so forth. Alex and I spent quite a bit of time selecting and arranging the items on our board to snap this photo! Our favorite cheese was the Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, which had a sharp, developed flavor from the aging. Here’s what was on our cheeseboard, if you’re looking to make one yourself:

  • 3 varieties of cheese (we used Tillamook Cheddars; you can use different types or regions)
  • Red & green grapes
  • Thinly sliced apples and pears
  • Gourmet mustard
  • Crostini
  • Roasted and salted almonds
  • Green olives
  • Apricot jam
  • Fresh honey with honeycomb
  • Flowers or herbs, for styling
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

4. Staying in the coolest Detroit digs.

The moment we arrived at The Detroit Foundation Hotel, I turned to Alex and whispered, Detroit is COOL! Everything about this hotel was perfectly styled, from the trendy bar in the lobby to our insanely stylish room. It’s built in an old fire station, with massive front doors and antique tile in the lobby. We felt bathed in luxury, which was exactly what you need for a weekend away from the baby. Walking around downtown Detroit, we fell in love with the architecture that was reminiscent of New York City, especially the brownstones.

Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks
Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

5. Eating at the trendiest places.

Detroit is not only cool, it’s full of trendy eateries. One of the favorite restaurants we visited was Grey Ghost, a trendy dinner joint. They made a fantastic special menu using Tillamook and Kroger products, even with incredible vegetarian options for the veggie-loving folks. I loved the potato empanada with red pepper jelly and the falafel burger slathered in yogurt and topped with fresh veggies. With consistent spot-on flavors, we’d give this restaurant a two thumbs up.

Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

6. Goal setting with other creatives.

Sitting with other entrepreneurs in your field and learning from them is one of Alex and my favorite things! It’s so valuable to learn from others’ experiences and share challenges and goals with each other. During the weekend, we took a few hours to share our top business and brand goals for 2018. It was an incredible time of learning and sharing, and we’re now able to support each other in new ways that we wouldn’t have thought of before. Knowledge-sharing and work-shopping challenges is such a valuable thing for small business owners! If you run a small business, consider even having a monthly video call with a few other entrepreneurs: it’s one of the most valuable things we’ve done for our business.

Enjoying a new city with other creatives was an amazing way to enjoy time away. Here’s a list of the other bloggers we enjoyed our time with on the LegenDairy Weekend!

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Detroit, Michigan with Tillamook & Kroger | A Couple Cooks

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I visited my niece in Oregon a few summers ago and fell in love with the Tillamook cheese all the products. I cannot find them here in the Detroit area, would you have any suggestions? Thanks so much Janet