Tuesday, November 06, 2012
The Tea Time Express Is Leaving The Station
Tea Time Express offered confections that were typically consumed with tea, hence the name. As for the Express part, that came in because the goods were sold door to door. If you wanted a cake, you only needed to answer the knock, have a few coins to cover the cost of the bun, and you'd be a little less hungry than you were a minute ago, without having to expend much energy.
When most people didn't have many spare coins for such a luxury, being able to buy a cake became an occasion, a rare treat that took on a certain status. Perhaps the cakes tasted that much better, flavored as they were with emotion.
The brand is so well known that it's become available in the U.S., the cakes and bracks sealed up in Dublin and flown across the ocean, to provide a taste of home for the diaspora.
If you want to see what it's all about, you'll have to act fast.
After struggling with a dying economy and rising costs, Tea Time Express is going to close its door shortly before Christmas.
The firm that survived the long slog of hard times in Dublin for over seventy years has become a victim of a new round of hard times. This version, however, is fatal.
Sugar and flour, dried fruit and nuts, everything has become more costly. Employee wages have gone up over the years, while the amount of money that people can spend on an indulgence like a marzipan cake has declined.
Tea Time Express can no longer sell enough baked goods at a profitable price to meet all their expenses. The owners have no other choice but to close their doors.
Someone else may buy up the equipment and give it a go, like the founders of Tea Time Express back in 1938.
But it will never be quite the same.