A cuppa with Ringtons Tea | Horizon Leeds | event hospitality

A Cuppa with Ringtons

We sat down for a chat and a cuppa with Robyn from our brilliant hot drinks supplier Ringtons. We discussed what makes them stand out from competitors, what they are doing to ensure they are a sustainable business and what they love most about working in the coffee industry.

You have 100 words to describe your role, go…

“Ringtons Beverages for Business are a fully transparent and knowledgeable, full-service beverage supplier for organisations. My role is to ensure that our clients receive everything they need within ever-changing markets. I support everything from consultation to marketing and insights to menu development and training. At every point I endeavour to make sure everyone is comfortable using our products, but it is also about building relationships and trust. Whilst having a wealth of knowledge to pass on, I also am always learning, which is a fantastic thing to say.”

Describe how you support Horizon Leeds?

“Having worked with Horizon Leeds for nearly five years, I don’t think we could have a stronger partnership. Every time I visit it feels like stepping into a second workplace and there are three main ways I support the event team.

“Firstly, I have regular contact via email and face-to-face to ensure continuity of service, from managing and upgrading equipment, to new ideas on client packages.

“Secondly, we look at marketing opportunities relating to Ringtons and Point of Sale (POS) if needed. We also discuss new opportunities and trying different things.

“Thirdly, I also like to build a great relationship with the team, so they know I am there when they need me, from equipment servicing, product availability, allergens and the sustainability of the products supplied to Horizon Leeds.”

What do you love the most about working in the coffee industry?

“It never ceases to amaze me the way in which coffee and preferences change. The industry never stands still. I have been in the industry for just over seven years and it is always changing. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new or different. Mostly, I enjoy meeting different people and helping them realise what a difference great tea and coffee, served well, can make.”

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

“With Ringtons, it is our history and heritage. Starting as a family business back in 1907, we are currently moving into the fifth generation of Ringtons. Our founder, Samuel Smith, started 115 years ago with a passion to bring premium tea to customers in an attentive and caring way. This passion for a great product, delivered in a way which works for the customer, is what still sets Ringtons apart today.

“Carefully crafted in our British Retail Consortium (BRC) AA* accredited factory, our tea has won countless great taste awards and our coffee is all speciality grade. Our Ringtons for Business team works closely with organisations who want to serve great beverages to their customers and employees; from machines and great products to barista training – we really want to ensure we are a complete partner.”

Here at Horizon Leeds, we are passionate about leaving a sustainable legacy, what are doing as a company to support sustainability?

“We are the biggest buyer of Fairtrade tea in the world. Meaning our global partners are treated fairly, have improved social and environmental standards and are paid a higher amount. We were recently assessed against the Carbon Footprint Standard by a third party and are certified Carbon Neutral for Scopes 1 and 2. We offset the CO2 emissions we do create by supporting projects in Kenya and Brazil. Our coffee cups are made from a plant-based material which is certified to compostability standard EN 13432. Our tea bags are made using the most environmentally friendly paper available and sealed using a plant-based plastic making them biodegradable.

“The Ringtons Charitable Trust makes grants to organisations for charitable purposes for the prevention or relief of poverty and financial hardship of smallholder farmers and workers in tea growing communities, mainly in East Africa.”

What made you choose Horizon Leeds?

“I know the employees at Horizon Leeds well, so it’s an easy call for me, it is an absolute pleasure to work with the team. If I didn’t know the team, their unrivalled facilities and enthusiasm for what they do would definitely be a key attraction; Horizon Leeds’s technology, catering offering and client retention is impeccable.”

What is the next big trend in coffee?

“Focussing on health and wellbeing, for example Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free and Dairy free products are as prominent as they ever have been. Turmeric, Matcha, and Beetroot hot and cold drinks are huge now, and as we are the only major stockist of Alchemy Elixirs, these are unmatched in the industry. Younger generations are now visiting high street, and independent outlets, where iced coffee beverages are on the rise, as well as fruit ones. Mix in healthier items i.e. sugar free syrups or non-dairy alternatives and you have a buffet of options. It is also still about flexibility – being able to create your own drink, without having to stick to a ‘standard’ menu.”

What’s your favourite Ringtons product?

“It would need to be our Ringtons Gold teabags, Leaf Locked and offers the perfect freshest tea. You think you know tea, until you try Ringtons Gold tea, and trust me, you wouldn’t go back.”

If you didn’t work for Ringtons, what would you do?

“Oh it would have to be with dogs, like a dog walker or a foster carer for dogs, although I think I would struggle to hand them back. Either that or a florist, I love flowers!”

Find out more about Ringtons’s dedication to sustainability in our recent Horizon Leeds blog.

Visit the Ringtons’s website.