' Stromness is a town that has a history of international connections. It now stands on the threshold of global opportunities '
James Stockan, Councillor
There is a rich entrepreneurial culture, reflected in the many independent businesses in the town. Men returning from voyages with the Hudson's Bay Company set up shop with the money they had earned. Fletts the Butcher was started by an enterprising young man returning after 10 years in Canada. Originally a joiner, he began the business with a single butchered cow - and it still thrives today.
Always quick to exploit an opportunity, Stromness developed a trade in straw and straw hats during the Napoleonic wars. When continental rye straw was not available, the fashionable ladies further south looked to Britain for their millinery and in 1821 there were no less than seven straw makers in Stromness. They employed about 20% of the women and girls in the Parish over the age of 10. A Stromness man even won a medal at the Great Exhibition in 1851 for his straw wares.
Although the hat makers and tailors have gone, the town still boasts a number of shops stocking contemporary fashions and locally-made textiles.
The directory contains information about the many local businesses and organisations based in and around Stromness. If you are looking for goods or services, this is the place to start...If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us and we will do our best to help.