The Maple Leaf Motel in Goderich won the top award at the 2022 Spirit of Success Awards Gala, hosted by the Huron Chamber of Commerce for Goderich, Central and North Huron Friday night.
The Maple Leaf Motel is on Victoria Street in Goderich and is managed by Iqbal Shaukat and Tahseen Tahira who came to Canada from Pakistan several years ago.
Tahseen Tahira had just been up on the stage a few minutes earlier to accept the Tourism Goderich Hospitality Business Award for The Maple Leaf Motel. She said that award was a complete surprise and she hadn't prepared a speech so winning the Business of the Year Award was an even bigger surprise.
“I'm overwhelmed but I'm so grateful and I'm just so grateful for the community, for the mayor and the councillors, the entire group of Huron County for making us feel special and the last award of the evening,” Tahira said.
One of the things that really impressed the judges was something the family did during last year's Celtic Festival. Tahira explained two musicians from Japan had only booked room for one night and they wanted to stay a second night to take in more of the Festival but everything in town was booked. Tahira said they couldn't just turn them away.
“We were representing Canada, Huron County and then Maple Leaf Motel, so we couldn't let them go like that," she explained. "So maybe they'll keep coming back because of the hospitality so we wanted to represent the welcomeness of Goderich and Canada.”
So two of her children gave up their room so the musicians from Japan could spend another night at the Celtic Festival.
“I'm overwhelmed but I'm so grateful and I'm just so grateful for the community, for the mayor and the councillors, the entire group of Huron County for making us feel special and the last award of the evening,” she said.
Other awards winners were:
Compass Minerals Environmental and Sustainability Award – Meeting Place Organic Farm
Goderich Signal Star Community Impact Award - The Alexandra Rose Long Table Dinner 2022
John C. Grace Young Entrepreneur Award – Sydney Pollock of Blake Street Bakery
Downtown Goderich BIA Award – Ontario Consolidation Services
Huron County Economic Development New Business Award – Eat Local Huron
MicroAge Basics Service Award - Coldwell Banker All-Points Festival City Realty, Goderich
K2 Wind Ontario Technology / Manufacturing Award – Calhoun Super Structure
Tourism Goderich Hospitality Business Award – The Maple Leaf Motel
Zehrs Goderich Retail Business Award – Chuck’s Roadhouse
Huron County Diversity Award – Bayfield Berry Farm