Welcome to Mefjord Brygge
Our company, Mefjord Brygge, has previously been a fish factory. It was built by Ernst Eriksen & Son in Mefjordvær. In the winter of 1978 the plant was exposed to heavy fire and large parts of the building were completely burned. After this happening, the remnants of buildings were purchased by Arvid Nergård AS, the company which was buying fish in Lysnes and Senjahopen.
Arvid Nergård AS, nowadays called Nergård AS, has become a group with a turnover of about 2 billion NOK annually, and is biggest employer in Berg Municipality.
The last fish that were bought by Arvid Nergård AS in Mefjordvær was around 1985. For a short period, the quay was used for preparing salmon.
Tommy Schanke Hansen
In 1994 some parts of the building were converted to a restaurant and a pub. Also, a new warehouse facility with 6 small apartments was built. This facility was run by several people from Mefjordvær and Senjahopen. It would, however, prove to be difficult to bring tourism business on the Senja island from early 1990’s onwards, so after a few years of operation the plant was left empty for several years.
In 2001, the plant was purchased by Tor Steinar Schanke Hansen who was born and raised in Mefjordvær. Mefjord Brygge AS was founded. Tor Steinar and back then his wife, Bodil Hansen, started the renovation and refurbishment of the plant. Mefjord Brygge AS had a good start because at the same time the construction of Geitskartunnellen linking Senjahopen and Ersfjord was commenced. The entire workforce of Leonard Nillsen and Son AS that operated construction of the tunnel was housed in Mefjord Brygge. The tunnel workers lived in the building for about 2 years and it provided further opportunities for renovation and improvements of Mefjord Brygge. Back then in 2003, the tourism in Senja had still not received enough interest, so as the workers left home, the plant was not going beyond the breakeven point for the next few years.
Tommy and his family
In 2006 the plant came was in dire straits. There were only two options available. It had to focus on new activities, more modern infrastructure, get more know-how and new capital. The sale to new owners was the other alternative. Mefjord Brygge became a shareholder company, gaining several strategic investors. A construction company from Målselv Brødrene Kiil AS and individuals associated with the same company offered to buy shares. Meanwhile, Tommy Schanke Hansen, son of Tor Steinar and Bodil, who at this time worked on the oil platform faced with the choice. He was considering whether to stay in the oil industry and continue his career or come home to Senja and take over the family business after his parents. Otherwise the company would have to find new owners and managers.
The above mentioned people got together in a meeting and a person who was recommended by the company’s accounting office (Finnsnes Regnskapskontor AS) was Alf – Einar Andersen. Andersen runs an advisory service for businesses, and is chairman of several companies.
The meeting ended with the former Mefjord Brygge AS being converted into Mefjord Eiendom AS and it established a new operating company named Mefjord Brygge AS. Tommy Schanke Hansen and his girlfriend Line Fredriksen, who was working at the University Hospital of Tromsø have moved to Mefjordvær. Later, his girlfriend became his wife and they started a family with 2 children and 1 dog. Tommy is the largest shareholder in the “new” Mefjord Brygge AS and company’s Managing Director. Målselv Brødrene Kiil AS entered with some capital and bought together Tor Steinar’s shares in Mefjord Eiendom AS. Alf – Einar Andersen joined as a chairman of both companies.
Dry fish, our home-made specialty
“New” Mefjord Brygge AS has a contract with Din Tur AS that sells outdoor activities, especially fishing trips in Norway. Mefjord Eiendom invested in 6 new boats, 3 apartments / houses and renovation of Schanke-Støa with 2 new quays with infrastructure such as roads, water and sewage. These investments would allow the company to operate properly, also with regard to future plans and further improvements.
Since 2006 both companies have been developing steadily, both in terms of turnover and volume. The focus on fishing trips have helped to build a facility that currently begins to emerge as a great destination on Senja island, with lots of loyal tourists coming year after year.
Recently, in 2011, Tommy Hansen Schanke bought all Tor Steinar Schanke Hansen’s shares in Mefjord Eiendom AS, thus he became the largest shareholder in that company.
The last investment made by Mefjord Eiendom was completed in the spring of 2012. It resulted in building a new house with 2 apartments on a new wooden pier. Also, the restaurant and bar were renovated along with construction of a new floating dock and purchase of 4 new boats.
I would like to wish all our old and future guests to have a great time at Mefjord Brygge. I hope that our tourist facilities will make your stay enjoyable, memorable and will facilitate Mefjord as a good venue for building new experiences for both locals and visitors in the future.
With best regards
Tommy Schanke Hansen.