The two companies, which won awards for international trade, are part of the largest haul of Queen's Awards ever announced in 44 years of the scheme - 194. Previously, the record number of Awards made in a single year was 175 in 1990
This year's award is Firmdale's third, following success in 2000 and 2006. Since the 2006 Award, the group's overseas earnings have nearly doubled and its employees have increased by one third.
More than half of the group's overseas guests come from USA - the remainder come mainly from Europe, Australia and South America. New markets are being developed in Russia, China and the Middle East.
Garrets International, a marine caterer that launched in 1991, provides service to 425 foreign vessels owned by 29 international companies. Over six years, its overseas earnings have more than doubled. In 2008 its main markets, by country, were Greece, Singapore, Norway and Denmark with a new market in Japan.
Winners of a Queen's Award enjoy a company visit by a Royal representative during the year to present a crystal bowl and a reception at Buckingham Palace in July.
They are also entitled to use The Queen's Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for five years.
The full list of winners can be viewed here >>
By Daniel Thomas
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