New sales records show that fish balls have been , and still are, a favourite on many dinner tables.
The history of Vesteraalens can be traced back to 19 April 1912 when the Limited Company Vesteraalens Canning Factory was founded in Sortland in the Vesterålen islands. Local property owner Georg Ellingsen was the originator of the enterprise and was also the major shareholder in the early years. Because of the location of the company, providing good access to fresh fish, the company soon became famous for its canned fish products.
In 1917, Ellingsen was in contact with Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen, who was said to be interested in fish pudding preserved in fish stock. The same year, Vesteraalens Canning Company was commissioned to produce supplies for Roald Amundsen’s expedition through the Arctic Northeast Passage in 1918–1922.
Among the most dramatic events in the history of the factory was the fire that began on 12 December 1991, which entailed a shutdown of the factory lasting 15 months. Norway Foods, the owner at the time, proposed moving seafood production and establishing it permanently in Sweden, but permission was not granted. Local owners bought the factory, and production began anew on 19 March 1993.
The current owners showed an eager commitment, and in 2015 Vesteraalens AS began to build a new factory nearby the site where the old one stood. The first building phase is expected to be completed in 2017, and production will start in 2018.