BATH, U.K. — Lovehoney last week received the Queen's Award for Enterprise for boosting international trade.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is awarded to British businesses that excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. It is the highest official U.K. award for British businesses.
Owners Richard Longhurst and Neal Slateford were handed a crystal chalice and scroll at a ceremony at the sex toy retailer's Locksbrook Road headquarters on Wednesday. Staff based at the Bath Headquarters were in attendance.
Lovehoney co-owner Richard Longhurst said: "It is a huge privilege for Lovehoney to be honored by the Queen.”
“The award will help us to reach new markets and create more jobs in Bath and in our offices in Australia and the U.S.,” he said. “The Queen is Britain's greatest trade ambassador and to have her backing means the world. Long may she reign over us."
“We’d like to thank our fantastic team for the support they have given us, we seriously could not have done it without them,” said Neal Slateford, co-owner of Lovehoney. “We never thought back in 2002 when we started out that one day we’d be given the thumbs up from the Queen.
“The crystal chalice we have received will take pride of place in our packed trophy cabinet.”
In April, Lovehoney was given the Queen's Award for International Trade for outstanding growth in overseas sales over the last three years.
The award — described as “the highest accolade for business success” — allows Lovehoney to use the Queen's Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years as a symbol of quality and success.
Lovehoney's revenue has shot up to more than £50 million per annum, and the company employs more than 250 workers globally.
The co-owners said the company is gearing up for the busiest six months in history with the new “Fifty Shades Darker” movie being released around Valentine's Day next year.
Lovehoney has the exclusive worldwide license to make all official pleasure products associated with the film. Sales at Lovehoney have increased fourfold since the first “Fifty Shades book was published four years ago.
Pictured: Richard Longhurst, left, and Neal Slateford