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Family business enters a new era

Seated, Keith Stuart. From left, Alison MacIntyre, Mark Stuart, Liz Henderson, Alan Stuart, Jan Stuart  (picture by Mark Rodgers)

Seated, Keith Stuart. From left, Alison MacIntyre, Mark Stuart, Liz Henderson, Alan Stuart, Jan Stuart (picture by Mark Rodgers)

 

The personnel pie chart is changing at one of Levenmouth’s longest established and most respected family businesses.

Stuart’s of Buckhaven, butchers and bakers, is currently in fifth and sixth generation hands.

Alan Stuart, Scotland’s ‘Mister Pie’, who has been in charge since 1990, is stepping down as managing director, and his elder son Keith (33), currently the bakery director, will be taking over, with effect from Monday.

Alan Stuart will assume the role of chairman, a position previously held by Norman Stuart, while Alan’s wife Jan, the current sales director, will also be stepping down.

Mark Stuart (30), Keith’s younger brother, will be joining the company next week, with responsibilities for both the retail shops and the IT and marketing operations.

Alan Stuart (63) told the Mail the company was confident that the transitions would happen smoothly and, while family businesses could be notorious for damaging feuds and personality issues, there were many examples of siblings and generations working together very well.

“We have a bit of a name for being quite good at succession,” he said. “It’s a buzz word in family business – we have had a culture of knowing what’s important and that’s the business.

“The business comes first.”

A relatively new face at Stuart’s is David Hobday (30), who joined in late 2013 from the Co-op in a new post resulting from the burgeoning growth of the wholesale side.

Another member of the Stuart’s management team will also be hanging up her overall in April. Liz Henderson retires then after 18 years as sales supervisor – while staff member Alison McIntyre is also stepping down as office clerk after 23 years.

Stuart’s of Buckhaven, founded in 1857, operates from a custom-built 22,000 sq ft production unit in Methil, which opened in 2005.

Ithas 16 bakery shops and four butchery shops in and around Fife, employing 180 staff.

 

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