Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

1600 Pike Place

Beecher's Handmade Cheese sign, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Beecher's Handmade Cheese, Pike Place Market, August 21, 2019, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Family Shoe Market (left, now Beecher's Handmade Cheese) and Pike Place Meat Co., Seattle, May 21, 1941, Courtesy MOHAI (1983.10.13462.1)

For the first few decades after opening in 1908, this building housed a variety of shops selling eggs, cheese, confections, fruit, meat and groceries. It took a brief turn away from food, home to the Family Shoe Market for about a decade, before becoming a seed and plant store. For more than 40 years this space was home to the Seattle Garden Center, the last shop of its kind in the Market.

When Kurt Dammeier walked through the Market December of 2002, laden with bags of Market products for a holiday party, the space was vacant. The sight stopped him in his tracks. This was what he’d been looking for, a place to both make cheese and show people how it’s done. By the end of 2003, the corner was transformed into a showpiece of cheesemaking. At first a few days a week and now seven, milk is delivered from two dairies about 25 miles away in Duvall, and fed into vats to start the cheesemaking process in full view of customers and passers-by.

Beecher’s sells cheese (theirs and from other Western U.S. artisanal producers) and cheesy foods. Pick one of the sandwiches or mac & cheese options and grab a milk-jug seat at the counter for an indoor perch overlooking the production area, a vivid expression of locally-made food.

Continue north on Pike Place and cross Stewart Street.

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