We were absolutely delighted to recently learn that Norse Stone is one of three finalists shortlisted for the Caithness & Sutherland Business of the Year at the 2019 Highland Business Awards. This was some really exciting news and, although we are keeping our fingers crossed for the final, we are thrilled to have made it this far!
During the application process, we got to thinking about just how far Norse Stone has come since the company was founded in 2015. Humble beginnings of three men in a shipping container with a saw and a polisher has grown to two quarries, eleven members of staff, a fully equipped workshop and bespoke production line.
Our quarries, Lieurary and Banniskirk, are both located on what is known as the ‘Spittal beds’ which is where you will find the finest quality Caithness flagstone. Lieurary is our main quarry and is also where our processing facilities are located. Banniskirk is our newest quarry just a few miles from Lieurary. It has already shown real potential in a variety of products giving Norse Stone customers even more options for their products.
The Norse Stone team is a unique mixture of people; men, women, age, background, training, experience. Some of the team, including our own managing director Michael Ronaldson, have been in Caithness flagstone industry for years whilst others had no previous experience but have learned, adapted and thrived in what is truly a diverse working environment.
Our workshop is kitted out with saws, polishers and fully automated CNC machinery with a specially built production line to increase our paving productivity. Caithness is known for its stunning landscapes and we are lucky to have our quarries surrounded by some of these. We want to protect our local environment and landscapes by developing low carbon production and extraction techniques such as recycling water to our saws, reusing offcuts and even working towards being as paper free as possible.
Community has had a huge impact on the Caithness flagstone industry and is something Norse Stone has always held in high regard. The local community is the backbone of Caithness flagstone. Even when stone production had all but stopped, it was the community who continued to pass down the working knowledge allowing the industry to once again be revived years later. Over the years, Norse Stone has been able to increase the support it can provide to the local community whether donations, sponsorship, information, photos of modern practices and, of course, local job opportunities.
We are immensely proud of how far Norse Stone has come in what is really a short amount of time and will continue to learn and develop so we can support our local community. Our product range will grow and mature to match the needs of our customers whilst we will endeavour to bring greater awareness of the versatile and durable indigenous natural stone we use.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds but, in the meantime, we hope you will keep your fingers crossed for us on the 27th of September when we attend the Highland Business Awards.