Tuite Opticians celebrates 50 years

The practice is recognising the milestone with a number of charitable initiatives aiming to give back to the local community

Tuite Opticians

An optometry practice in Whifflet, Coatbridge, is celebrating 50 years of serving its community.

The North Lanarkshire practice, Tuite Opticians, was opened in March 1973 by Mary Jo (Breslin) Tuite. Today, the practice is run by Eamonn Tuite, who took over the practice from his mother in 2000.

To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the practice will be hosting a number of initiatives benefiting the local community.

Eamonn Tuite, who’s background is in dispensing and had roles as a manager in multiples before taking on the Coatbridge business, said: “In this, our 50th year, we want to give back to the community by initiating the following drives: supporting the local foodbank with a monthly donation, collecting money from spectacle repairs for other local charities, such as The Baby Loss Retreat, and offering our patients the chance to enter into a monthly prize draw to win prescription sunglasses.”

Speaking to OT about the charity initiatives, Tuite said: “I think it’s necessary, especially in these trying times, to be seen as giving back to the community and local charities. We’re trying to raise awareness and help people out as much as possible.”

In addition to its on-site services, Tuite Opticians hosts a Home Eyecare Service, including in care home settings, and all practice staff are Dementia Friends.

The biggest thrill is seeing families that have grown up through the years

Eamonn Tuite, practice owner

Initially opened at 30 Whifflet Street, the practice relocated to Easton Place in April 2012 following an expansion of services.

Explaining this stand-out moment in the history of the practice, Tuite said: “We moved from the original practice, which was literally 100 yards away on the Whifflet Street. But it was quite a small practice and getting a bit dated, so we moved to a much bigger unit in the precinct.”

It was only after the practice moved that the team discovered that parking had previously been an issue for many patients accessing the previous location, something made easier in the new space in the precinct.

Looking back on the move, Tuite reflected: “It was funny, because we were getting people saying, ‘Who is the new opticians that have moved in at Coatbridge?’”

He quipped: “We’ve only been here since 1973!”

The practice describes itself as “one of the longest-serving independent family-run opticians in Lanarkshire” and a “mainstay of the Whifflet and Coatbridge community.”

Tuite’s brother, Gerard, also runs a practice in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, which has been running for 40 years.

Reflecting on this family heritage, Tuite shared: “It’s amazing.”

“The biggest thrill is seeing families that have grown up through the years, the different generations coming through the door. It is amazing when you see those who were once kids, bringing their kids in. It’s the continuity of it,” he added.

Lead picture: optometrist Stephen Kirley, practice manager Michelle Campbell, and practice owner, Eamonn Tuite.