Robert Welch Designs has been named as a winner of the 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in the category of International Trade.
The housewares supplier received the accolade for increasing its year-on-year overseas sales to the point where exports now represent over 40% of its annual turnover.
The Gloucestershire company’s tabletop and kitchenware products are distributed and sold into over 70 countries around the world, and can be found in department stores, on the tables of top restaurants and in five star hotels, as well as in the first class cabins of many international airlines.
Robert Welch Designs ( www.robertwelch.com) also sells through its own website and its two UK stores in Chipping Campden and Bath.
Managing director Rupert Welch said: “To be part of an elite group of Queen’s Award for Enterprise winners is a real honour for us all at Robert Welch Designs. The significance of this year being the Queen’s 90th birthday only enhances this privilege.
“I’m immensely proud of this award which is a great tribute to our entire team and to just how much meticulous consideration goes into creating, marketing, selling and distributing our products.
“The award recognises our talented and committed workforce, and their success with the associated logistics and business challenges involved in strengthening our export market. Every individual at Robert Welch Designs has worked incredibly hard to win this award.”
The family firm was founded by Robert Welch (1929-2000). He left the Royal College of Art in 1955 and set up a workshop in the Cotswold town of Chipping Campden. Since then, every single Robert Welch product has been designed in the same building by the in-house design team.
In the early 1990s, Robert Welch invited his daughter Alice (now deputy managing director) and son Rupert to join his small team and help drive the company onwards.
Six decades on, Robert Welch Designs is an internationally renowned brand with an extensive range of kitchen knives, utensils and tableware, including the award-winning Signature knife range, and over 30 cutlery designs.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise will be presented to the company by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire later in the year.