Future of the Empire is a matter of taste

Indybiscuits'referendum Empire biscuits produced by Stuart's
Indybiscuits'referendum Empire biscuits produced by Stuart's

Ignore predictions from official polls in the run-up to the independence referendum because - as one famous Levenmouth firm knows - the result all depends on how the cookie crumbles.

For the past three weeks Stuart’s the Bakers has been selling three versions of its popular Empire biscuits, each emblazoned with an aye, nae or dae kin.

And thanks to the buying habits of customers, the family business has had a unique insight into the voting habits of cake-loving communities across Fife.

“They’ve been selling like proverbial hotcakes,” said Mark Stuart, sales supervisor.

“We were going to keep a close eye on the sales figures for each biscuit but for various reasons it was too difficult,” he commented.

“However, general trends have been noticed and it varies across the Levenmouth area.”

Preferences had been changing, a little like the opinions of some voters in the run-up to polling day.

The idea had been suggested by colleague Pat Pelosi and although Empire biscuits were used, the choice did not indicate Stuart’s had pro-British leanings, he assured.

“The fact they’re Empire biscuits is coincidental and many people just refer to them as double biscuits, because they consist of two biscuits with jam in the middle and icing on top.

“Our employees are welcome to have their individual political opinions but it’s not something we, Stuart’s, would like to make a public statement on.

“We’ll go with whatever is left at the end of the day.”

The exercise had been a very popular one, added Mark.

“I don’t know if it’s been the topical aspect or because it’s a novelty discount but people are definitely liking buying them.

“It was always intended as a light-hearted bit of fun – there was noting in the way of a political agenda.”

Initially, in Methil, the best selling biscuits had carried a no, while in Buckhaven it was a yes and in Leven also yes, said Stuart’s.

However, by the start of this week, the Buckhaven and Methil areas were showing a clear yes, while that opinion was also reflected in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes.

Lundin Links, too, was delivering a yes verdict, along with parts of Leven – but not the High Street, where the most popular response was don’t know.

The only place where no seemed the prevalent response was Kennoway.