Photo: Master of Ceremonies, Ralph Rubino, presents the Business of the Year Award to Gurpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh, who own three Circle K locations.

GODERICH – Three Circle K locations owned by best friends Gurpreet Singh and Harpreet Singh captured the top award at the 2023 Spirit of Success Awards Gala, an annual business awards event hosted by the Huron Chamber of Commerce – Goderich, Central and North Huron last night.

“This year, the judges have selected a winner with a unique story,” said Nadine Vanden Heuvel, in presenting the award. She is Chair of the Spirit of Success Committee. “The judges said they faced blatant racism and pushed on. They became part of their communities and gave back. They volunteer and are seen everywhere.”

In the application for the award, Gurpreet Singh said the friends who grew up in the North part of India worked long hours and invested all their money to acquire stores in Lucknow, Wingham and Clinton. Now, they give back to the community through volunteer work.

The community offered up a record 135 nominations of businesses, organizations and individuals for 14 sponsored awards. The Business of the Year Award is chosen by the judges.

Nominations included organizations that run events that make an impact in the community, young people with the courage to start businesses, businesses that provide stellar service and give back to the community and other criteria of excellence.

Other awards winners were:

Compass Minerals Environmental and Sustainability Award – BYOB Zero Waste Depot

Downtown Goderich BIA Award – Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health

Country 104.9 Community Impact Award – Goderich Salt and Harvest Festival, September 15-17, 2023

John C. Grace Young Entrepreneur Award – Wyatt Ducharme and Jacqueline Hudson of Cork & Coast

K2 Wind Ontario Technology/Manufacturing Award – Community Living – Central Huron

MicroAge Basics Service Award – Goderich Chiropractic

Huron County Economic Development New Business Award – Bayfield Lavender Farm

Goderich Tourism Hospitality Business Award – BRØD bread & pastry

Zehrs Goderich Retail Business Award – Nature’s Nest

Huron County Economic Development Diversity Award – Community Living – Central Huron

The Bazinet Family Volunteer Award – Earl Pennington

Mainstreet Credit Union Excellence in Agribusiness Award – EthoGuard

Berhan Immigration and Settlement Services Newcomer Award – Khawla’s Kitchen: Authentic Syrian Cuisine

Huron County Economic Development Employer of Choice Award – Maple Leaf Motel

“The Spirit of Success Awards Gala honours outstanding businesses, organizations and people who shine brightly in our community. They are pioneers and leaders. Change makers and community builders. They lead by example. They encourage others to be better. And we hope that with these awards, we can not only recognize them, but continue to encourage them and others to be the best they can be, for the benefit of everyone,” said Tabatha Fisher, who is chair of the Huron Chamber of Commerce.

This event is co-sponsored by Libro Credit Union and Zehrs Goderich. Awards are sponsored by Artech Signs and Graphics. Photography is sponsored by Gateway Casino Clinton. Entertainment is sponsored by Community Futures Huron. Media sponsor is Blackburn Media Inc., Shoreline Classics and 100.1 The Ranch. Decoration sponsor is Jodi Snell, Real Estate Broker, ReNew Real Estate Team, brokered by eXp Realty.