Mr Herman Steiner became a fashionable Mayfair hairdresser in the 1930s – counting the late Queen Mary among his clients. Some 55 years on, his business, Steiner Group Limited, was among the five Jewish-owned firms to win 1991’s Queen’s Award for Export Achievement.
“The past seven years have seen an enormous growth in holiday cruises and we have beauty salons and fitness centres on up to 40 ships sailing all over the world,” said his son-in-law Mr Clive Warshaw.
Medical publisher Mr Martin Dunitz, 41, received the award for his 13-year-old company based in Camden Town, North London, which he founded with his wife Ruth.
“Martin always wanted to do something valuable for people,” said Mrs Dunitz, who lives in Hampstead Garden Suburb with their two small daughters.
Some 85 per cent of the company’s specialist medical books, produced in several languages, are exported.
This year’s only export award for clothing manufacture went to Yours & Mine, a firm started by Mr David Altman in 1983, based in Islington, North London. Mr Altman was later joined by his father, Jack.
“He did it all with his young fellow director, Anthony Goldberg, and without my advice,” said Mr Altman senior. “In fact I tried to discourage him from entering the fashion business after he left school.”
When princess Royal recently visited the company, she told Mr Altman senior: “I bet you’re glad your son didn’t take your advice.”
Mr Jeffrey Levy, 34, of Hertfordshire, turned his youthful interest into a prize-winning business, Mint & Boxed, when he started selling old metal toys such as tin soldiers to collectors in 1983. Based in Edgware, Middlesex, he opened a New York sales gallery last year.
Pop-up card innovator Mr Rod Schrager started his business, Second Nature, 10 years ago after a holiday encounter with a California greetings card designer.
From its headquarters in North Kensington, West London, the company last year became the first outside the United States to win the American “Card of the Year” award.