Ringtons History

Our Story dates back to 1907 and Ringtons still remains a family business today. Take a look at our journey through the years.

In 1907 Samuel Smith OBE moved from his home town in Leeds and began selling tea from a horse and cart in Newcastle upon Tyne. He started with an initial investment of 250 pounds from William Titterington. The company rapidly expanded and one year later, Sam needed two horses and four assistants.

1914 Samuel bought Titterington's share of the company. Sam's son Douglas joined the company as a tea boy. It was a hard time during WWI as sales and rationing laws were put into place. Twelve Ringtons Employees were sent to war but fortunately all returned in 1918.

The 1920's & 1930's saw more growth for Ringtons, they bought two motorised vehicles to assist with the deliveries and opened a new head office on Algernon Road in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, which is still there today.

In the 1940's Ringtons was seriously affected by WWII as over 400 employees, including Samuel's four grandsons, were called up to fight and by 1943, 200 vans were taken off the road. The surviving servicemen, including Sam's grandsons, returned to work for the company.

Samuel Smith passed away aged 77 in 1949 and his sons took on the business. Douglas Smith was now running the business and by 1954 all but one Ringtons deliveries were made by motor vehicles.

In 1972, Douglas' son Johnie took over at Ringtons and when he began his new role his eldest son Nigel also joined the business as a Trainee Buyer.

Through the 80's, Nigel's brothers Simon and Colin joined the business and were able to gain valuable and expert knowledge from all over the world. Over the next 30 years, the fourth generation of the Smith family brought in many changes, including the introduction of innovative vacuum-packing techniques and the construction of a custom-built factory in North Tyneside.

Today, we continue to deliver door-to-door to over 260,000 customers throughout the UK. From humble beginnings in Newcastle upon Tyne, we now have 35 offices across the country and a growing international market.

My name is Stephanie Bundle and I am a fifth Generation member of the Smith family, the great great great granddaughter of Samuel Smith. I have a passion for the history, the tradition and the product produced by Ringtons.

My husband David is a local boy from Tauranga. We met in Australia over 3 years ago and have lived in the beautiful Bay of Plenty for 2 years now. We both love a good smooth, rich cup of tea and we have always travelled with our Kenyan Gold teabags as no matter where we go nothing ever seems to compare to it. After some discussions together about not being able to find a good cuppa we made the decision to bring our world famous tea to the shores of New Zealand, and hope you get wrapped up in the story and history that comes with the finest Ringtons cup of tea.