AFTER starting as a traditional bakery in Dunfermline, Stephens Bakery has this month reached a massive 150 years of serving up goodies for West Fifers.

The fourth generation family business now employs a total of 240 people which includes roles in bakery, hygiene, despatch, drivers, retail, stores, maintenance, office and sales teams.

It has lived through a total of seven monarchs, 28 prime ministers and two world wars.

Throughout the years, it has been proud to stay true to the founding values of William Stephens "by keeping bread only of the best quality, to merit a share of public support".

From its humble beginnings, there's now a custom-built bakery as well as 14 retail shops and partnerships with convenience stores including Coop, Scotmid, McColls as well as independent retailers.

Andre Sarafilovic, Managing Director of Stephens, reflected on the firm's lengthy history.

"As we celebrate our 150th birthday, we are very proud of what we have achieved and our heritage is a great testament to the hard work of our loyal and highly skilled staff," he said.

"Innovation has always been at the heart of our company values and we strive to push the boundaries of the traditional bakery format.

"We pioneered being the first bakery to partner with convenience stores in 1997, we were the first to launch snack delivery vehicles, and we opened the first stand-alone bakery drive-thru in the UK in 2018.

"But we are never resting on our laurels. In the last five years, we have rolled out our retail strategy to allow our customers to ‘Stop for a Stephens’ in the most convenient way possible, while providing our famous customer service and top quality products.

"We continue to grow in size and strength, and we are confident we can attribute this to our continuous investment in our business and people, while always staying true to our family values."

Andre said continuing to adapt to changing social and economic circumstances has helped them through the many ups and downs over the last century and a half.

"We are confident that this, coupled with always staying true to our values and putting the customer first, will continue to guide us through the next 150 years," he said.

"Every day we are humbled that we have such loyal customers, some who have been visiting our shops for decades!

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation and sincere thanks to all our customers, partner convenience stores and most importantly, our amazing team whose commitment and hard work every day allows our wonderfully old bakery to still be thriving after 150 years."

As well as building the business, it isn't all about steak bridies and the likes.

Stephens Bakery is keen to make sure it gives back to the local community for their support through The Stephens Foundation.

The charity aims to support the advancement of education and health, the relief of poverty, and the advancement of community development.

Since its launch in 2018, a massive £165,000 has been given away which eclipses its initial aim of £1,000 per month.

It has helped a range of causes including individuals in need of a new electric wheelchair to local kids' football and school breakfast clubs.

A total of 47 nurseries, primary and high schools across Fife and beyond are receiving help with their breakfast clubs.

To mark the 150th birthday, staff are being encouraged to fundraise by taking part in any sort of challenge, from sports events to coffee mornings, with every penny raised being matched by the company.

Staff and their families will also be treated to a day of food, drink and activities at Cluny Clays to mark the milestone anniversary.

Andre added: "We’re really looking forward to it and the day will just be about thanking everyone for their hard work and to have a good time with their colleagues and loved ones."