Ringtons Tea logo
|Founder(s)||Samuel Smith, William Titterington|
|Headquarters||Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom|
Ringtons is a tea manufacturing business based in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England. It was founded in 1907 by Samuel Smith and delivered tea across the nation through a door to door service which still continues today. Although famous for tea, Ringtons soon sold other groceries and products including coffee, biscuits and sweets to keep up with demand. This family run business has since retired the horses and carts but still delivers tea and more door to door and now encompasses an online shop which delivers Ringtons products across the world 24/7.
Samuel Smith was born in Leeds in 1872 and grew up in a small cottage on Ladypit Lane. With an initial investment of £250, Sam Smith started Ringtons with his business partner William Titterington in the Heaton area of Newcastle upon Tyne. An initial stock of tea was purchased and the business begun, delivering direct to customers' homes.
With a focus on quality and service, the business soon flourished and Sam moved to larger premises, buying out William's share of the business. Ringtons truly became a family company when Sam's son Douglas Smith joined starting as a van boy.
In 1914 World War I hit and with it came the advent of rationing and Rington's workers called up to the front. These developments almost put a stop to trade and Sam Smith found himself diversifying the Ringtons range to include dried eggs, baking powder, canned meats, fish and pickles. After the war, there was a rebirth of the business and Sam Smith wherever possible employed ex-servicemen and opened up 48 depots as his business grew.
With a post-war boom in business Sam opened a purpose-built factory and six-storey head office in Algernon Road, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1926. The business continued to grow and in 1935 Ringtons expanded the tea packing department and built a packing factory on the site of the house where he had been born in Leeds.
Although the business was expanding and everyone was working hard through difficult economic times, Sam ensured that his employees' welfare was paramount and as an annual event trips to Scarborough were enjoyed by the staff and their families as a reward for all of their efforts.
World War II brought with it a succession of severe setbacks for the business and over 400 Ringtons' employees were called to the forces including Sam's grandsons. Sam donated his own car to the ambulance corps and the company was compelled to take 200 vans off the road in 1943. Samuel Smith was not to witness the historic changes that were to follow in the post war era. He died on 12 August 1949, aged 77. His will left sons Douglas and Malcolm with shares in the business and at the age of 50 Douglas took over Ringtons, to be joined by sons Norman, Douglas Junior and Jonnie.
Ringtons doorstep delivery
Ringtons' products are still very popular to this day, with deliveries throughout the UK, via their own personal delivery team. The company's website  gives information on a wide range of new and traditional products that are delivered to your door.
Ringtons online shop
Investing in new technology Ringtons explored the digital age with the Ringtons Online Shop which provides a wide range of teas, coffees, loose teas, sweets, biscuits and gifts to purchase online and delivered direct to your door.
It was a natural progression to expand into supplying commercial outlets hence the development of Ringtons Beverages. Now established for over 30 years, Ringtons have been supplying hotel chains, restaurants, cafes, offices and businesses with a full range of beverages, coffee machines and sundries. Supplies are tailored to each establishment's requirements, with deliveries to their customers. The products are blended, packed and delivered from their central production facility in Newcastle.