The Tunnock's Factory, Uddingston
Tunnock’s dominate the town of Uddingston, 7 miles south-east of Glasgow. For over 100 years the family firm has been pumping out their trademark Tea Cakes, Caramel Wafers and other delights for the pleasure of Scotland’s rotten-toothed populace. Tunnock’s products are such a part of Scottish heritage that they’ve followed ex-patriots round the world, winning them the sort of global following that most brands would kill for.
Established in 1890 by Thomas Tunnock, their products haven't changed much over the years, with their distinctive sunburst packaging and slightly wonky lettering. In a world that's constantly changing, there's something very reassuring about that. Traditionally, they’re a bit of an old-person’s snack, but that association with a trip to your granny's means that from an early age each bite of Tunnock’s is imbued with more than just sugary satisfaction. Thanks to this they have a loyal, almost cult following.
In Uddingston, their “Daylight” bakeries loom large on one side of the main street, while the Tunnock’s Tea Rooms nestle among a row of shops on the other. The Tea Rooms are a delight for any Tunnock’s lover, or indeed anyone with a sweet tooth. As well as a range of rare Tunnock’s biscuits (Wafer Crème, Coconut Meringue, Florida Wafer – all delicious) there are spectacular cakes, pies and loaves. At the back there is a café, not the most attractive of places, but still a cheap and cheerful place to refuel.
While you eat/shop, there are constant reminders of the glory of Tunnock’s. The staff have a caramel wafer shaped patch sewn onto their aprons, the counter is covered in miniature Tunnock’s vans, the walls lined with old adverts and then there are the window displays – oh boy, the window displays. Inhabiting the windows is a family of anthropomorphic creatures with bodies made from Caramel Logs, Tea Cakes and other Tunnock's paraphernalia. They are fantastically bizarre - a sign of genius, or madness. It's hard to tell which.