Marie’s legacy

Various products from Rørvik fiskemat. Photo: private.

Almost a century after their grandmother Marie Pettersen started making fish products in her basement, the family business is producing fish cakes and fish balls based on her recipes.

“I would say that we are a modern company based on old traditions. The funny thing is that several people who work here today also worked for my grandmother Marie,” says Øyvind Pettersen, the General Manager of Rørvik Fiskemat AS.

Nærbilde av Marie.
Marie started the fish cake adventure in Rørvik.

“Naturally her recipes have been adapted over the years to meet the increased production and new ones have been added, but the focus on quality and local ingredients is just as strong now as it was when she started production in 1927.”

Bilde av Øivind Pettersen i produksjonsanlegget
- The focus on quality and short-distance raw materials is as strong now as when grandmother started in 1927, says Øivind Pettersen.

Medal-winning products

This focus produces results. This year, Rørvik Fiskemat AS were awarded gold in the category for fish cakes, silver for fish burgers, shared gold for fish balls and bronze for soup balls (a mini version of fish balls). “Of course, this is a result that we are proud of,” says Pettersen, who is quick note that several can share the credit.

“Our staff who make the products and the local fishermen who provide fresh fish can take a lot of the credit for us making such good fish products.”

Bilde av Rørvikburgeren
Rørvikburger were awarded silver in for their fish burger during the National Championships in seafood products.

Øyvind Pettersen adds that they are completely reliant on local fishermen to make their medal-winning products. “Fresh fish from the catch of the day is added to our garlic mixture, which makes our fish cakes both juicy and firm.”

Purchasing fish from the local fishermen means the small fish receptions in the districts are preserved, which contributes to Norway being able to maintain a vibrant coastal culture.

“For us to get the high quality we want, we believe having a good relationship and good dialogue with the fishermen is essential,” he says. “It’s important that we all head in the same direction, and I feel that we have succeeded with that here in Rørvik.”

Bilde av fiskerne Håkon og Jostein Sørensen

The importance of renewing

The company must develop based on the catch that the fishermen deliver. Rørvik Fiskemat has achieved this from the outset and its market is now nationwide.

“Our location could not possibly have been better,” says Pettersen. “The fishing grounds for both whitefish and pelagic fish are situated right outside our lounge window.”

It’s accurate to say that Rørvik in Nærøysund municipality is by the open sea and an archipelago of thousands of islands. There has been activity here for several centuries. Just a short boat trip from Rørvik is Sør-Gjæslingan, which was a major fishing village from the mid-17th century until it was abandoned in the 1970s. Sources say the fishing out there in the winter of 1931 was incredible. We should also mention that the catch from here ended up in the fish cakes that Marie produced in her basement. Sør- Gjæslingan is now a protected but vibrant fishing village offering accommodation in fishermen’s cottages combined with coastal cultural heritage.

“My grandparents built the business on delivering high quality products. This is a core value that we have continued in the production of both traditional and innovative products” says grandson Øyvind Pettersen.


Written by Anne-Lise Aakervik

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