Innovation is at the heart of family-run business, Stephens Bakery. It has never in its 146-year history, rested on its laurels. Instead, it invests in the long term, and is willing to take risks.
Stephens Bakery was the first bakery in Scotland to partner with convenience stores (now a popular concept), with David Sands over 20 years ago; it was also the first bakery to introduce ‘jiffy vans’ (its Stephen Direct catering delivery trucks); and in 2018, it opened the first stand-alone bakery drive-thru in the UK.
The success of its Dunfermline drive-thru continues to exceed expectations. It was a calculated risk, which has achieved fantastic results, prompting plans for additional drive-thru sites.
The bakery employs 230 staff and with two new sites opening later this summer, employee numbers will rise to 245. Hillend Road, Inverkeithing (to replace its Fraser Avenue shop) and Rosslyn Street, Kirkcaldy will be home to the new stores, which will offer a range of Stephen’s mouth-watering products made fresh each day by its team of 100 bakers.
Sales Development Manager, Talia Sarafilovic, is the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the business. She spoke to fbm, commenting: “Growing from a small traditional bakery in Dunfermline with only a few shops, to a custom-built bakery in 2008, we have seen significant growth in the last few decades. We now have 14 retail shops, six snack delivery vehicles and convenience partnerships with Coop, Scotmid, McColl’s and independent retailers.”
Stephens takes it responsibility in manufacturing very seriously and is continually working to make its operations more efficient and sustainable. Last year, it saved 78 tonnes of CO2 by adjusting van run optimisation, and decreased its electricity use by 20 per cent, while still producing the same volume of products. It has also saved 2.7 million litres of water each year (approx. 18 per cent) by implementing a range of bakery efficiency projects, whilst food waste has been halved by controlling bakery wastage and by closely managing product availability.
Talia added: “As other family-owned bakeries find themselves in decline, we have continued to grow in size and strength. We are confident we can attribute this to our continuous investment in our business and people, while always staying true to our family values. With the younger generation now assuming greater responsibility, the business is in excellent shape and ready to move forward and invest in a bright long-term future."