ONE of Kirkcaldy’s best-known bakers shut two of its shops in a shock move on Friday afternoon.
Miss Maude’s cafe and Carlton Bakeries inside The Mercat Shopping Centre were closed resulting in the loss of around 14 jobs.
As well as the two town premises, the shutters were also brought down on Carlton’s shops in Unicorn Way and Lyon Way in the Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes.
Sources have claimed the move came as a result of the bakery owners being unable to meet the high rent rates in both shopping malls.
However, the bakery chain still has a number of outlets across Fife which continue to trade.
Locally it still operates in Whytescauseway - its only town centre unit left - Victoria Road, Dunearn Drive, St Clair Street and Valley Gardens in Kirkcaldy, and also in Dysart, Leven, Cadham, Glenrothes and Markinch.
It is understood these premises have been taken over by food product manufacturer, William Mcmillan Ltd, based in Faraday Road, Glenrothes.
Miss Maude’s cafe has been a popular eaterie within the Mercat Centre for over 20 years and there was no sign in the window this week to inform people that it is now permanently closed.
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All, told The Press he was disappointed to hear about the closures: “It is very sad to see these four shops closing and it is an indication of just how hard the recession is biting local businesses just now,” he said.
“Businesses are also struggling to pay high rents and rates and this is affecting their ability to survive.”
The Press made repeated attempts to contact bosses at Carlton Bakeries yesterday (Wednesday) about the shop closures, but no-one was available to comment by the time we went to press.