Our Home on the Ranch
Since 1865 the 700-acre Hicks Valley Ranch, home to Marin French Cheese, has been privately owned and protected. The scenic expanse, originally part of a Spanish land grant, encompasses grassy meadows, plunging ravines, shady ponds and native Live Oak woods with the 1,400-foot peak of Hicks Mountain to the west and cool coastal breezes cascading over the land from the Pacific Ocean, just ten miles away.
From the arrival of Spanish and Mexican settlers in early 1820s Marin County has always featured a rich agricultural landscape, gaining fame in the late 19th century as “cow heaven” for its abundance of grazing cows and the production of sublime butter, cheese and milk sent by train or schooner to be enjoyed by lucky San Franciscans.
Where Past Meets Present– and Future
The 20th and 21st centuries brought changes to the farming landscape in Marin County and challenges to our company. Water became more precious – the gold of the era – and the means to farming survival. Marin French Cheese took the lead in responsibly managing the water sources and other natural resources essential to the cheesemaking business. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Thompsons sold their herd of dairy cows, purchasing milk for cheese from neighbors, creating a dependable market for their milk and helping sustain their farms and families. That same philosophy of community partnership guides Marin French Cheese to this day.
The land is certified organic and is dedicated to pasture and crop lands.
The future looks bright – and bountiful!