It is 230 years old, operates from one of the world’s oldest factories and the Queen is not only a customer - but a visitor.
Family-owned knitwear firm John Smedley is riding high after Her Majesty visited the factory in Lea Bridge in July and met staff, including making-up manager Brian Greaves, whom she had talked to on her first visit in 1968.
She left with a gift for herself, polo shirts for Prince George, and the Duke of Edinburgh was given a sweater.
The visit underlined the tradition and status of the firm which was founded at the beginning of the industrial revolution.
Earlier this year John Smedley borrowed £500,000 to extend its product range and set up an apprentice scheme as it looks to a hi-tech global future. It’s fine-gauge knitwear is exported to 40 countries.
The business is 50th in the Top100 table, has 396 staff, turns over £17.2m and made £1.5m profit last year. That figure was just £2,000 up on the year previous when it was 31st in the table.