Operation Sheep-O-Rama 2009

Map of Operation Sheep-O-Rama - Sebastopol, CA to River Falls, WI

Here is the story of my journey from the Bay Area of California all the way to River Falls, WI to pick up my sheep. Along for the ride was my sister Jennifer, who was equally lacking in experience with driving a big ass 4x4 truck or driving in snowy/icy road conditions, let alone with livestock on board. So here's the lowdown on the 1 truck, 2 girls, 5 days, 10 sheep, and 4,200 miles that were......Operation Sheep-O-Rama. This is the initial map I put together for the trip, with tentative stopping points along the way.

The Starter Flock

Whoopi ('07) - R.I.P. dear Whoopi

In December 2009 Seana took a big and risky leap of faith and purchased a starter flock without really knowing where or how she'd get a licensed dairy going. The ewes came from Swedish Mission Farm, a sheep dairy in Wisconsin (they have since shut down) and member farm of the Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Cooperative. These ewes were crosses between the East Friesian and Lacaune dairy breeds which are common throughout Europe.

Retailers

This is a partial list of cheese shops and other fine retailers who carry Bleating Heart cheeses. If you know of a place that carries our cheese and do not see it on this list, let us know!

About Us

Bleating Heart Cheese began in 2009 with a mission to produce unique, handcrafted “American Original” cheeses. The inspiration came shortly after founder Seana Doughty quit her desk job to go work at a neighborhood cheese shop, Venissimo, in Del Mar, CA. Finding herself thoroughly smitten by the science and art of cheese, especially sheep milk cheese, Seana started down the road to becoming a cheesemaker and never looked back.

The Story of the Name & Logo

Bleating Heart® logo

Folks often ask: how did you come up with the name Bleating Heart®? Well....cows moo, goats and sheep bleat. From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

bleat : to make the natural cry of a sheep or goat

It is a pun, a play on the term "bleeding heart" which is defined as "a person who shows extravagant sympathy especially for an object of alleged persecution." We certainly have extravagant sympathy for American food artisans, but mainly we just thought this name was funny. After all, our motto is making seriously good cheese without taking ourselves too seriously. All of our cheese names are conceived with that same spirit. Our basic rule is that if a name isn't sort of funny, we're not using it.

From the start, we chose to break from convention and not use our own given names, or the names of places within our region to identify our cheeses. This does not diminish the quality of our cheese, or the profound respect we have for the dairy farmers who work so diligently every day to produce the milk that goes into our cheeses, nor does it mean we don't take immense pride in our region. We just decided to take a non-traditional, more humorous approach. It's actually no different than how most craft brewers name their beers (and we are BIG fans of craft beer).