Shock as popular Fife bakery business ceases trading with the loss of 60 jobs

Carlton Bakeries has now permanently closed with 60 staff being made redundant.

By Debbie Clarke
Thursday, 9th April 2020, 1:34 pm
Shock as Carlton Bakeries permanently closes with the loss of 60 jobs. Pic: Kirkcaldy4All
Shock as Carlton Bakeries permanently closes with the loss of 60 jobs. Pic: Kirkcaldy4All

The announcement came as staff received letters yesterday (Wednesday) informing them that the company was now being placed in liquidation.

Founded in 1942, William McMillan Limited, which trades as Carlton Bakeries, operated a bakery facility and 10 retail shops across Fife including several in Kirkcaldy as well as Glenrothes, Leven and a shop/cafe in Markinch.

In a statement to FifeToday, managing director Graeme Simpson said the company had suffered recent financial losses and had been working through a restructuring plan but following the implementation of coronavirus restrictions, it had no alternative but to stop trading on March 27 and close the business permanently.

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Mr Simpson said: “William McMillan is a long-standing Fife-based family business with a proud tradition and long history. We have been fortunate to have a very loyal hard-working staff, many of whom have been with the business for a good number of years.

“We are all deeply disappointed that the business has been adversely affected by the coronavirus restrictions which has made the financial position unsustainable. Steps are being taken to place the company in Liquidation and this is expected to be finalised in the coming days.

“We will work closely with the liquidators when they are appointed in due course to ensure every possible assistance is provided to the staff during this difficult time.”

One staff member, who has worked for the company for many years, said she had a feeling the bad news was coming: “I thought it was on the cards. He came and shut us down, took the keys and told us to help ourselves to the stock on the last day we were open.

“Then we got a letter today (Wednesday) in the post saying that was it, that the company was going into liquidation.”

She added: “I was quite shocked when I got the letter. I loved working in that shop – I loved every minute of it.”