Keith Garden has the perfect business for a reception with the Queen and Prince Philip and now has the Royal seal of approval to remember the day.
He was invited to Buckingham Palace as the proud winner of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The announcement was a double celebration for us as Only Natural Products became the second Pension-led funding client to receive the highest accolade for business success – and in consecutive years.
Last year incognito®, which sells DEET-free natural insect repellents, was honoured with a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.
Keith said: “We’ve won design awards and product awards voted by customers, but this is the most prestigious award we have won.
“It was incredible going to Buckingham Palace and amazing to network with all the other companies, large and small. We met the Queen and Prince Phillip and had a little chat with them.”
Only Natural Products has been striking a blow for Britain against the trend for overseas tea production by exporting a huge range of high-quality teas and infusions around the world – and selling tea to China!
Keith believes the growth of their exports, particularly in Australia, attracted the attention of the judges.
Two years ago the company’s sales in Australia added up to £250,000. This year Keith is expecting that figure to reach £1.2 million.
“It is looking positive for more growth as well,” said a delighted Keith, who is targeting High Street coffee shop down under.
The accolade has come at the perfect time with the launch of new products with the company able use Queen’s Award branding for five years. They are also working with the Government’s UK Trade & Investment department to boost their exposure further.
“Things like the award gives a lift to your credibility,” Keith said. “We are still pushing like crazy on international business. We are talking to Walmart in Mexico and also looking at markets in Finland and Sweden.
“The business is going really well. We are investing a lot in the factory [in Gloucestershire] and have taken on another unit, expanding our foot space by 60 per cent.
“We are pioneering markets in China and Turkey. There is a big tea market in Turkey but they don’t have any European brands.”
Adam Tavener, chairman of Pension-led funding said: “It’s so rewarding to see that, once again, Pension-led funding has been a vital part of securing the future of a promising small business with big ambitions.
“Our warmest congratulations go to Keith and his team and we wish them much continued success.”
Read the Only Natural Client profile here