One of Fife’s best known family businesses is to temporarily close a number of its shops for the first time in its history.
Stuart’s of Buckhaven, which has 16 bakers and butchery outlets across the region, will shut 10 of them from Monday.
Managing director Keith Stuart said he had made the decision “with a heavy heart”.
The shops earmarked for closure are smaller bakeries where social distancing could not be maintained.
All of the company’s butchery outlets will remain open.
In his announcement, Mr Stuart paid tribute to his staff, who have continued to supply locals even when supermarkets ran out of essentials.
He also praised customers for their “wonderful behaviour” during a stressful time for workers.
In a post on Stuart’s website, he said: “It is with a heavy heart I have to publish this post.
“After 163 years of trading we are having to do something we have never done before.
“Sadly, we are temporarily closing 10 of our shops due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
He added: “We are so immensely proud of our staff who have kept working to keep the food chain moving to supply local communities with bread and rolls and meat produce when the supermarket shelves were bare.
“Thank you to our customers too, who have behaved wonderfully well in difficult situations, treating our staff with the utmost respect while they are continuing to do their jobs.”
Shops remaining open have social distancing measures in place, with areas two metres apart marked out on the floor.
Hand sanitisers have also been provided for customers’ use.
Stuart’s was launched in Buckhaven in 1857 and is now based in Dubbieside in Methil, although its original shop still operates.
As well as its 16 outlets, it supplies produce to stores across Scotland.
Known for some unusual recipies, including iron brew pork sausages, Mr Stuart’s father Alan founded the prestigious World Scotch Pie Championship, which attracts international competitors every year.