Community

Tillamook Coast tourism, with a focus on food


“Markets for our area’s products will expand, and as area chefs adopt more locally focused menus, the potential for attracting visitors who value fresh, delicious food will grow,” said Nan Devlin, Visit Tillamook Coast Director.
By Brian Cameron
editor@northcoastcitizen.com
Part of a process that began last February, Visit Tillamook Coast, the area’s destination marketing organization, contended for grant funding from Travel Oregon with the intent to vitalize the Tillamook area’s burgeoning sourcing-movement among local restaurants, farms and businesses.
The effort brought together various members of the tourism scene from business owners, department heads, public relations and marketing entities, farmers, ranchers and fishermen. All combining their collective thoughts on how to exemplify the Tillamook area’s options for fresh vegetables, seafood, dairy and other locally made and procured products. The goal of the effort is to not just combine these resources but also create a service to the visitor that shows off what the region has to offer to foodie enthusiasts.
“We are currently reaching out to the culinary/agritourism community who have been involved in our rural tourism workshops,” said Devlin. “And to our providers we know are interested but were unable to attend.”
It was decided at one of the workshops along the way that the best way to focus these efforts would be to create a regional food-trail. An effort that would join together the various participating partners to provide visitors a mode to see all the food related products Tillamook can offer.
The food-trail project has been officially titled as the “North Coast Food Trail,” but will join the entire county with Cannon Beach to the north and Lincoln City to the south which will centrally focus on the Tillamook region as well as bring in the neighboring communities as well.
The categories for partnerships within the new food-trail are varied but all focus on fresh and local products and the services that help bridge them. Farmers/fishers/producers, business/lodging/restaurants and retail, beverage producers, experiences/guides/cooking schools/caterers, food producers, and farmers markets and nonprofits. Every category has been deemed beneficial to the overall effort of creating the custom, food oriented visitor’s trail.
“Agritourism is an ideal match for Tillamook County,” said Devlin. “It takes what is already here – farming, fishing, harvesting, foraging, producing, serving – and showcases it within the context of our coastal environment and values, bolstering the economy in a sustainable, year-round way.”
The new food-trail is due to launch in April of 2018 with a map, website and an ongoing advertising campaign. More information about the effort can be found at tillamookcoast.com/foodtrail. In addition the Pelican Pub Tap Room in Tillamook is planning a beer and cheese festival on April 18, Visit Tillamook Coast will release the food-trail and its details then.