Our Story

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



1907 Horse & Cart

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 from William Titterington. The company rapidly expanded and one year later, Sam needed two horses and four assistants!



1914 Van

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 1930s saw more growth for Ringtons when Sam returned to his native Leeds, demolished his former home and built a brand new Ringtons factory! The building still stands today as a Sikh temple and original Ringtons engravings can be seen on the exterior.

1930s Van

1920s Van



Ringtons bought two motorised vehicles to assist with the deliveries and opened a new Head Office on Algernon Road in Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Ringtons range also expanded to include the popular Chintz and Willow patterned ceramics.



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 of Ringtons deliveries were made by motor vehicles.

1940/50s Van

1970s Van


In 1972, Douglas' sons Johnnie & Douglas Jr took over at Ringtons and Johnnie's eldest son Nigel also joined the business as a Trainee Buyer.



1980s Van



Throughout the 80s, 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.


Now, 111 years after Sam Smith began his business, we continue to deliver door-to-door over 260,000 customers throughout the UK. From humble beginnings in Newcastle Upon Tyne, we now have 35 offices across the country. Our sales people battle through all weathers to make sure that our customers get their regular delivery. With a wide range of products to choose from, our salespeople carry the well-known Ringtons basket to each customer's door.

We also provide the nations superior cafes, restaurants, hotels and workplaces with the best tea and coffee via our successful wholesale division, Ringtons Beverages. Our online store allows customers all over the world to get Ringtons deliveries, from our highest quality teas and coffees to our fantastic range of biscuits and sweet treats, and even stylish homeware pieces.