Ready … steady … bake!
We’re profiling Kirkcaldy’s businesses via our Blog to showcase the history and heritage of many names – as well as the newbies who are being attracted to the town, driven by Kirkcaldy’s entrepreneurial spirit and the growth of great independents. We caught up with John Simpson who has spent almost four decades in the food industry – and heads up one of Fife’s best known bakeries …
John tells us that he is Kirkcaldy born and bred: “When I left school, I worked at Fife Creamery Ltd and, from there, I moved to William McMillan Ltd. Thirty years manufacturing puddings and meat products gave me a unique insight.”
In 2012, John was transferred to Carlton Bakeries – a company with close to 100 years trading under its belt. John is very proud of the company’s work and their support for his home town. He cites his work at Carlton as his biggest business achievement, saying: “Carlton were in administration seven years ago, but we have turned the business around to its present position – creating a specialist wholesale pastry maker than maintains a strong high street presence.”
He explains: “We have no fewer than 10 outlets in the Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes area, employing between 70-80 people.” The investment Carlton makes to Kirkcaldy and mid Fife – through recruiting, training and employing that number of people – cannot be underestimated. They also work with a number of local suppliers – again, helping to boost and support the local economy.
Asked what makes Carlton special, John says: “We are Kirkcaldy’s last bakery. Our range of confectionery products are unrivaled in the town with a large selection of fresh cream cakes and our famous fudge doughnuts. We also have seasonal lines – such as our strawberry tarts that are only ever made with fresh berries from the Kingdom of Fife.”
And then there are their rolls – traditional rolls made up fresh for customers with any combination of ingredients. John says: “We have an extensive range of hot and cold fillings with everything being freshly prepared” … and these are available across all their stores in town … all six of them …
As with all our business profiles, we always ask what is the one thing you’d recommend visitors do – apart from visiting your business! John is Kirkcaldy through and through – so his eyes are on The Rovers. He says: “If it’s Saturday what could be better than an afternoon at Stark’s Park!”
Thanks for reading!