Savor Your Life Series: Meet Alise Sjostrom, Cheesemaker/President of Redhead Creamery, LLC
Are you living your dream life on purpose like Alise Sjostrom Cheesemaker and President of the Redhead Creamery?
“You love what you do don’t you?” Alise responded, I LOOVE what I do!” I could tell! Alise had boundless energy, unspoken enthusiasm and a twinkle in her eye!
As a Dairy Nutrition Communicator, I was lucky enough to visit the Jer-Lindy Farm and Redhead Creamery in Brooten, Minnesota. Their farm is a quick two-hour ride from the Twin Cities through beautiful central Minnesota countryside.
They milk 180 cows and flow the milk directly to their cheese plant as cows are being milked. They offer tours on Fridays and Saturdays at 12:30 pm for just $5.00 per person. You can eat a small cheese-centric lunch and buy their great tasting cheese to take home. Their Ridiculously Good Cheese Curds are distributed all over Minnesota.
Check out their online store for their other cheeses available in the Midwest.
This is Alise and her sisters:
Since 1983, Alise’s parents Jerry and Linda have owned the Jer-Lindy Farm. Ever since she was a teenager, Alise had a dream of opening up a creamery on the farm. She followed her dream by attending the University of Minnesota and moved to Vermont to learn more about creameries and cheese plants. In 2013 Redhead Creamery (named after Alise’s beautiful red hair) was opened.
The farm and the creamery are a family affair. Alise and her husband work side by side with her parents. When you visit their farm you feel like you are visiting family. You can feel their love for each other, their animals and what they do.
Everyone I know wants to be happier and Alise seemed to hold the secret to being happy.
Why is she so happy? She wakes up every morning to live her purpose.
Study after study shows the importance of having a sense of purpose. We live in this “Facebook comparatitis world.” One recent study found that living your life with a sense of purpose could make you less likely to rely on external validation (in this case via Facebook “likes”) for your well-being.
Research conducted at the University of Rochester has shown that having a sense of purpose in life not only increases the quality of our lives but may also help us to live longer — regardless of our age.
Discovering your purpose like Alise, boils down to the one or two things that you love that are bigger than you. We are not born with purpose; it is cultivated and takes time, patience and resilience. It is an ongoing process.
I interviewed Alise to learn more about what puts a sparkle in her heart and gives meaning to her life.
What were you passionate about as a child?
I really enjoyed life as a child. I was very active in 4-H showing dairy cattle and was competitive in both basketball and track. My parents tell me I was always very happy and smiling.
What makes you forget the world around you even forget to eat?
I forget about the outside world when I am down in my cheese make room, watching milk circle around in the cheese vat and the birds out on our pond. I have a great view (which doesn’t involve cars or people!)
What is your typical day like?
It’s never the same. Right now, I always attempt to wake up early even when I’m not making cheese. With a 15-month-old, that doesn’t always happen. On cheese make days, I am up at 4:15 am, have breakfast and start receiving milk (while they are being milked) in the cheese plant. I have 30 minutes during pasteurization time, so I will run in and help get my kids ready for daycare, then come back out and continue with the cheese making. In between, I am responding to emails, receiving phone calls and planning out social media posts for the week.
What do you do to reset your energy?
I take a good long nap or go for a 2-mile walk. I also attend 1Million Cups every Wednesday morning – it’s a great group of entrepreneurs learning from each other over several cups of coffee.
What is on your bucket list?
Standing on the stage at the American Cheese Society awards ceremony – accepting a ribbon for one of my cheeses. And visiting Alaska with my family!
How do you want to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a kind person with integrity.
Everyone wants to be like Alise… fulfilled and living a life with true meaning.
5 questions you can ask yourself to get started discovering your purpose.
- What did you love doing as a child?
- What makes you forget to eat? What activity do you get so immersed in that times passes without you realizing it?
- If you did not have a job, how would you choose to fill those hours?
- If you knew you were going to die a year from now, what would you do differently to be remembered?
- What is on your bucket list? This list will show you what activities are important and emotionally fulfilling.
Remember like Joseph Campbell states, “Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it.”
Here to help you discover your purpose!