Two North East firms have been honoured with Queen's Awards.

Beanies Flavour Coffee has been awarded a Queen’s Award for International Trade in recognition of its growth and commercial success, and QINOV8 have been honoured for Enterprise in Innovation.

The award for Beanies comes just months after the Darlington-based company was listed among the North East’s Top 20 fastest growing firms.

It currently exports to more than 30 countries worldwide, including South Africa, India, Malaysia, and Japan. The trade makes up 15 per cent of turnover.

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Beanies launched in 2013 and has since gained an international reputation for producing uniquely-flavoured instant coffees – from Sticky Toffee Pudding and Jam Doughnut through to Chocolate Orange and Maple Fudge.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade is the most prestigious award for UK businesses and the endorsement helps further raise the profiles of businesses at home and overseas.

The company, which has ambitious plans to grow the business having achieved an average 30 per cent growth each year for the past five years, has already been named a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion by the Department for International Trade.

John Evans, managing director of Beanies, said: “This Queen’s Award means a great deal to the business, not only does it reward the hard work that has gone into the last nine years, but it truly puts us on a firm footing for developing the next stage of our export potential.

“These are exciting times for us and is an example of what can be achieved even for the most modest of companies. Personally, I am very proud of achieving this very prestigious award and for the effort that has gone into it from the whole team here at Beanies. The award means that we can really fly the flag for Britain - and Darlington - around the world to showcase our amazing range of coffee.”

He also praised the support received from Darlington MP Peter Gibson, adding: “Peter has engaged with us extensively, bringing the Secretary of State for International Trade to visit us and encouraging us to explore the Queens Awards – and I’m delighted he did!”

Peter Gibson MP said: “To see Beanies Flavour Coffee, a local firm being recognised at such a national level really underpins the passion, determination, and skills of our town’s workforce.

“The Queen’s Award for International Trade is awarded for outstanding achievement and is the country’s most prestigious business award, and I know first-hand the incredible journey the team at Beanies have been on, and this award is the perfect way to recognise their contribution to enterprise.”

Shildon-based QINOV8 has been recognised for its game-changing water leakage reduction product the Aquapea. This is a pea-sized product capable of repairing leaks on underground pipes with no excavations, now being used across the UK and many parts of the world.

Employing only four people, QINOV8 was set up at the end of 2016 to help bring much needed innovations to save precious water and reduce carbon usage caused by leaking water pipes.

Co-Founder Michael Quinn said “It’s such an honour for myself, my brother Mark and business partner Paul to win the Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation. As a company we’re so young but have achieved so much and we want to continue helping the world prevent unnecessary water loss and reduce the carbon footprint associated with leakage. This is a vital piece of the jigsaw if we’re to win the battle against water scarcity and climate change.”

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

Applications for Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2023 open on the 1st May 2022. For more information, visit


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