AN award-winning Dunfermline firm have announced that they will be closing their shop in the Kingsgate Shopping Centre. 

The Wee Tea Company have decided to shut their retail unit and manufacturing operation in the mall and move into larger premises in the Elgin Industrial Estate.

Derek Walker, director and co-founder of the business, told the Press: "It’s a bit sad, the Kingsgate has been really kind to us because we’ve been able to do manufacturing and retail at the same time in that space.

"We manufactured all our tea in the Kingsgate, so that’s all our tea that was going everywhere from Gleneagles to Vietnam, but what happened was, we’ve got so big on the manufacturing side that we’ve had to find a manufacturing site.

"We’ve found one in Elgin Industrial Estate and we’re about to move but we can’t staff both premises."

Due to the costs of staffing both sites, they decided it was time to leave the Kingsgate. 

Dunfermline Press: Co-founders and directors Derek Walker and Jamie Russel with retail director, Martin Rae Co-founders and directors Derek Walker and Jamie Russel with retail director, Martin Rae (Image: Supplied)

He continued: "We’re almost too big on the manufacturing side to be able to have the two different premises so we’ve had to consolidate it into the one site and we’re excited about that.

"It’s really cool and we can do much more down there, we’ll be able to expand our range. Our new Christmas flavours will be out soon, we have a really nice Christmas chai and a mulled berry tea as well that we make every year. 

"It’s just a shame they won't be wafting through the Kingsgate, they’ll be wafting through the industrial estate instead."

Derek credits the growth of the company, they've won a number of awards down the years, to their stockists around the country - and further afield!

Currently tea from the Dunfermline firm is stocked on The Caledonian Sleeper, a number of tourist attractions and big hotels across Scotland, as well as the Signet Library and the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, and was even brewed at the Royal Garden Party in the capital this year where King Charles was in attendance.

"Basically, our tea is getting well known and people are enjoying it," he said. "People are getting to see it and taste it, they’re liking it and coming on and buying it and other businesses are buying it too."

However, none of this would have been possible without their local customers.

Derek continued: "Believe it or not, as a retail shop in the Kingsgate, we were never really busy but we were really successful.

"It was a really successful wee shop and a lot of local people shopped with us and we’re going to miss them."

But there's no need for a storm in a teacup as, despite closing their own store, their full range of brews and hot chocolates are being stocked in Dunfermline's newest deli, Must Be Crackers, on High Street. 

READ MORE: Must Be Crackers opens on Dunfermline's High Street

He added: "We hope that they’ll go into Must Be Crackers or buy direct from us online so that they’re still looked after but we did have a lot of customers and we’re very grateful to them for helping us grow."

Now the company has its sights set on the future, they have recently secured contracts with the Barclays campus in Glasgow and North Sea Ferries, hired two new members of staff and even bagged a Scottish Enterprise award. 

Derek said: "We were actually awarded 'Best Luxury High-grade Tea Shop 2023'. It's a fantastic accolade which we’re delighted about."

To browse their full range of teas and hot chocolate, visit their online shop or pop into Must Be Crackers on the High Street.