On an April morning in 2011, the train whistled as I was boarding with three children and ten suitcases at Lysaker Station. When the conductor asked if I wanted a round-trip ticket, I replied: “No. One way only. No return.”
My voyage, from Bærum near Oslo to the island of Støtt near the Arctic Circle, was the start of an adventure. It was a dream that I had carried since childhood: to return to the island where I grew up. The challenge that lay ahead was to develop Støtt into an exceptional travel destination.
I was well aware that this meant a lot of hard work from Day One, and that our new life would be a dramatic change for my three children, who were six, nine and eleven. For them it would mean having to take a boat to school, winter and summer, and in storm as well as fair weather. I held a deep hope that together we would be able to tackle all the challenges that we would soon encounter, known and unknown…
Eva Ann Andersen, the founder and general manager of Støtt Brygge, describes the demanding start of the company she established at the Støtt Old Trading Post. She recently renamed her increasingly popular travel destination: STØTT – Top of Helgeland. Today, thanks to good help from Innovation Norway, the Cultural Heritage Fund, Nordland County Cultural Heritage, several private foundations and not least the Municipality of Meløy, many of the old buildings of the old trading post have been beautifully restored and upgraded.
“We have a great team, with energetic and creative employees. I am deeply impressed by the commitment they have shown these years, and how they have risen to our many challenges. I am immensely proud of that,” says Eva Andersen.
The step-by-step development of our company
- 2012: Støtt Brygge AS established, as well as Restaurant Gammelbutikken in the old store
- 2014: Accommodation ready in Stabburet and Rorbua
- 2015: A fisheries museum and conference facilities on the floor above Restaurant Gammelbutikken
- 2018: Accommodation offered also in the refurbished old bakery, Bakeriet
- 2020: New strategy, with a clearer concept and brand building
- 2020: Establishment of Støtt Kolonial AS, the grocery store on the quay, and Støtt Lokalsamfunnsutvikling AS, a company dedicated to facilitating development of the island community
- 2021: Three real estate projects: Fiskemottaket (the fish processing plant), Rødbrygga and Matbutikken
STØTT – Top of Helgeland is proudly rooted in the Støtt Old Trading Post. The four cornerstones of our concept are 1) its heritage, history and coastal culture, 2) hosts that emphasise personal service, 3) stately accommodation, and 4) great seafood dining based on locally-sourced ingredients.
Through our close collaboration with experienced handpicked partners, Støtt also offers a wide range of outdoor adventures and activities.
We are restoring and rebuilding the old trading post – and we are doing so systematically by developing it based on a deep respect for our island community’s heritage, its authentic coastal culture, traditions and distinctive qualities.
In our strategic plan, growth is not the sole objective or success criterion. Our long-term vision is that our success must be based on quality in the deepest sense of the word, as well as profitability.
Core to our vision is a strong commitment to our island community. We are focused on the sustainable development of the island of Støtt, and sustainable tourism for our region.
«Da jeg kom til dette handelsstedet som telegrafist, ble jeg truffet av en stjerne, men den hang så høyt at jeg kunne ikke nå den. Men lyset traff meg, og det har jeg gjemt i mitt hjerte.»
– Ove Rolandsen i Hamsuns Telegrafisten (Sværmere)