Baker and butcher Stuarts of Buckhaven is looking to expand in the wholesale market after securing a £1m funding deal with Clydesdale Bank.

The Fife-based business now operates 16 retail outlets, but is keen to supply to small-scale supermarkets via a developing wholesale arm. The funding package will also enable the firm to increase its geographical presence across Scotland.

Alan Stuart, MD of Stuarts and president of Scottish Bakers, said although the business has traditionally focused on the retail industry, in recent years it has worked in a wholesale capacity with some of the UK’s larger supermarkets, supplying pre-packaged bakery and butchery goods.

However, he said he found the relationship these organisations were looking to develop did not match its ethos of providing fresh, quality foods and estab-lishing long-lasting business partnerships. "We believe smaller, privately run supermarkets, such as Spar and David Sands, will provide more appropriate and meaningful business opportunities for us," he said.

Stuarts employs 180 staff across its retail outlets and production facility in Methil. It posted a turnover of just under £4m in the 2010/11 financial year.