CAB - 7 Oct 2020 - 10 Oct 2020 - Advice

Business / New soap shop sets up in Stromness

The view from Heiðrún's Stromness window.

A SUCCESSFUL Shetland enterprise selling goats’ milk based soap has given birth to a separate Orkney based venture.

Heiðrún Cosmetics, named after a mythological goat that stands outside Valhalla, has been opened at a prime harbour-side location in Stromness.

The new company has been set up by Edward Rankin and his mother Esther, who owns Lerwick based Love From Shetland along with her husband Tom Jeromson.

According to Esther, the location near the NorthLink terminal in Stromness is a real boon for capturing visitors.

Esther said: “It is going really well. They have brought out a liquid soap. It is not goats’ milk, but it has proven really popular because it is palm oil free. They are already supplying to the NorthLink ferry Hamnavoe’s gift shop and there is a lot of interest from the bed and breakfast market.”

All Heiðrún and Love From Shetland soap is palm oil free. Photo: P Johnson/Shetland News

Love From Shetland has itself benefitted from the cruise ship market, with Sunday openings netting big sales from the thousands of passengers wandering the Lerwick streets.

Tourists are also drawn by Love From Shetland mascot Connor, a goat which raised £1,600 for the Gilbert Bain MRI scanner in June and is expected to top that for July.

The name Heiðrún Cosmetics reflects the stand-alone nature of the new company, which is run by Edward and has three employees.

Esther said: “It was a new company for starters and it’s me and Edward and we did not want to call it Love from Shetland or Love From Orkney, because it was a different business altogether, so Edward came up with this name.

“It is the exact same recipes as we do in Lerwick, the skin care soaps. It is all certified palm oil free. The difference is it’s using milk from Orkney rather than Shetland.”

Before setting up, it had to be established that there was sufficient milk supply in Orkney, and the company secured a couple of suppliers, with the main one based on Shapinsay.

“It is the same as Shetland – we would never dream of producing our own goats’ milk soap here if we did not have our own goats’ milk. Then you have 100 per cent traceability. This is very big in Orkney,” said Esther.

Another sign of the environmental times is packaging for the products is either re-useable, compossible or bio-degradable.

She added: “It’s good for Stromness because so many businesses have shut down. It is helping bring new life into the place.”

The soaps are produced in a unit at Hatston, near Kirkwall, which is also home to Orkney Creative Hub, meaning there is a bustle of art and craft orientated activity in the area.