Artisan cheese from Sweden

Robert and Kristina Åkermo welcome you to Oviken Ost!

Oviken Ost is a dairy and means "cheese from the village of Oviken". We started in 2002 and produce artisanal cheese and other dairy products from sheep and cow's milk. We also supply fine restaurants with suckling lamb and other lamb meat products such as kidneys and sweetbreads. To make our cheese we use only milk coming from our own dairy sheep grazing around our farm and our cow's milk is purchased from a nearby family farm. All our cheeses are made by hand from unpasteurized milk as our raw milk is of the highest quality and we want to retain all its flavor and properties. 

Our farm has been in the Åkermo's family possession since 1350's.
It is located on the southern ridge of the lake "Storsjö" near the city of Östersund in the middle northwest of Sweden. Agriculture has been conducted in the area since the Middle Ages and the calcareous and fertile soil of this area offers an excellent environment for growing the crops we feed our livestock with.

Oviken Ost operates about 90 acres of fields and manages approximately 2000 hectares of forest. We also have our own summer pastures in the nearby mountains. Both the farm and the dairy get heat and hot water supplied by a wood chip boiler using wood from our own forest.

The number of animals on the farm varies during the year. During breeding season from February to April, we have about 450 ewes of which about 250 are young ewes. Culling occurs and 300-350 ewes give birth in early July. We milk 200-250 ewes from August to early February (200-220 days of lactation). During the summer we have in between 500 and 600 suckling lambs.

Kristina is a veterinarian and Robert an agricultural engineer. Leaving our careers to create Oviken Ost was for us an ideal way to combine our interest in animals, farming and passion for good cheese and artisan food. Between 1995 and 1999 we started by making a number of studies in dairies and farms across Sweden and northern Europe.

Unable to find a milk sheep breed with sufficient genetic qualities in Sweden at that time, we decided to engage on our own long term breeding plan. We began by crossing nordic ewes with a purebred East Friesian dairy ram and imported also semen from Holland. In 2006 we were able to buy 6 purebred dutch rams in Finland that weren't related and crossed them with the nordic breed. Since 2008 we have been able to start selecting the animals showing the best milking properties, which are to give a good amount of milk with high fat and protein levels. They also need to be good mothers. Our goal is to be able to milk 200-250 ewes giving 500 to 600 liters of milk each, a year.

For cheese making we use dairy equipment from the Swiss company Grob. The current capacity of our dairy is 2 x 750 liters and our maturing facilities can house about 3-4 tons of cheese a month.