A WEST FIFE bakery is being forced to close after its electricity bills sky-rocketed to more than £600 a month.

Wee Vegan Bakery, on Loch Street in Townhill, was first founded in November 2020 and re-launched with a cafe in February this year, but now its owners, Carol Watson and Rebecca Greenhorn, say that opening their doors is costing too much.

Rebecca, who originally started the business after discovering a lack of dairy-free snacks on the market while breastfeeding, has three children and joined forces with Carol, who has two kids, in December 2021.

Since then the two mums have been balancing family life with running a bakery, though recently that became impossible when their electricity bills quickly jumped from £192 a month to £620.

“It’s not just that, ingredient prices have gone up too,” Carol explained. “The cost of flour, oil, most things, and people’s disposable incomes are a lot tighter, cakes are a treat which people can’t afford.

“We were debating what to do, we did the small business market in Dunfermline and Kinross market, we were going to go through to Edinburgh but when you add up the cost and the time involved...”

The cafe section of the shop was closed before the school October holidays, but Carol says that didn’t hit as hard as the emotional decision to permanently shut the bakery.

“We managed to stay self-sufficient for seven months, then last month we had to borrow money to keep going and pay wages,” she continued.

“We took the October holidays to take a step back and look at the figures, but with the increase in prices it was not viable. I think there is a market for the products but putting everything together and energy bills have crippled us.

“Five litres of oil when Rebecca first started was £5.80, the last time I checked it was £8.

“It’s not just us, my mum and dad have a business and the cost of their electric has gone up as well.”

But not all is lost, Carol said that the pair have become “sisters” during their time working together, and that even their kids, who they will both now be spending even more time with, are like family to each other.

And the support from the community has been equally heart-warming, with messages of support flooding in since they announced the news of their closure earlier this week.

The bakery may still continue online, or possibly as a subscription service, in the future though even that is too expensive in the current climate.

“We gave it a good bash, I still think there’s a market, it’s just not the time for it,” Carol said.

For now, she left a warning for customers who want to see their favourite small businesses succeed: “When you go to buy a coffee be mindful of where you are going.

“Go to local businesses instead of big chains, it is too easy to go to supermarkets. In lockdown everyone wanted to shop local, but I think that has been forgotten now. Go to small independent businesses, that is the only thing we can do as consumers to help.”

Wee Vegan Bakery will open for its final day tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am until 2pm.