Explore the Nation’s Largest Cheese Store in Missouri of all Places

Anyone traveling between Kansas City and Branson Missouri via Highway 13 plans their journey around a stop midway in Osceola, population 800. Located on the northwestern shores of Truman Lake, savvy travelers know they will find the eleven cleanest restrooms anywhere right here in Osceola.

But most folks stop for the cheese.

Friendly purple greetings from the Osceola Cheese Store. Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

Friendly purple greetings from the Osceola Cheese Store. Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

The Osceola Cheese Store has been a fixture in these parts since 1944 when W.K. Scott and his wife Ruth decided they wanted to tinker in the cheese making business. They called it Riverview Cheese then and nearly 1000 dairy farms in the area supplied milk for the cheese.

Business grew nicely for nearly 25 years until the Army Corps of Engineers began flooding 260 square miles of west-central Missouri to form Truman Lake. Osceola Cheese had to move up the hill to its current, very visible location on Highway 13.

That’s about the time Chris Hannah started hanging out at the cheese store. His mother worked there, and during the busy Christmas season, he would help pack orders that were shipped around the country.

It’s been more than 35 years since Hannah earned his first paycheck from the Osceola Cheese Store. Now, he and his wife, Lisa, manage the business.

Largest Cheese Store in the U.S.

domestic cheese stores

December is the busy time of the year at the Osceola Cheese Store. Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

The Osceola Cheese Store is considered the largest domestic cheese store in the United States, Hannah thinks. The store carries more than 200 kinds of domestic cheeses.  Wisconsin string cheese is their best seller. On an average day, the Osceola Cheese Store sells about 1,000 pounds of cheese, along with crackers, sauces, jams and other goodies.

Take THAT Wisconsin Cheese Heads!

The most unusual flavor is Chocolate Cheese, which tastes a lot like fudge.  But a flavor that is quickly gaining in popularity is a creation by Chris and Lisa Hannah’s son, Duel. A blend of javelina and Monterey Jack with a nice infusion of Ghost Pepper, which is well-known as the world’s hottest chili pepper, they’ve appropriately named the product “Hotter Than Hell.”

The Osceola Cheese Store no longer relies on local dairy cows to make these many varieties of cheese. Instead, “happy cows” in Wisconsin and a few in Ohio contribute to the goodies found on Missouri Highway 13, exactly half-way between Branson and Kansas City.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Explore the Nation’s Largest Cheese Store in Missouri of all Places

  1. MARTHA CLARK

    MY FRIEND AT WORK BOUGHT SOME OF YOUR CHEESE WHEN SHE THERE AND BROUGHT IT TO WORK. I LOVED IT. WAS WONDERING IF I COULD ORDER IT AND YOU MAIL IT TO ME.

  2. Margaret Kupper

    Just got back from Branson and our bus stopped in for cheese. Loved all the flavors and came home with some. Wished you weren’t so far away.

  3. Dave DeVault

    When I was a boy my Grandparents and I would stop at the store by the river and buy some cheese. Grandpa would pull out his pocket knife and start cutting off off the cheese because we couldn’t wait until we got to the farm by Humansville. What a treat. I always stop there on tge way tto Branson. We have our Granddaughter with us and she enjoys it 60 years later.
    Thanks for the great cheese

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