Spice Village founder receives MBE from Prince of Wales
The founder of an iconic Pakistani restaurant in south London has been awarded an MBE for his services to business and philanthropy.
Mr Suleman Raza who owns Spice Village in Tooting personally met and received his MBE from the Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
Announcing the news on social media, Spice Village said: “We are thrilled and honoured to share that our Founder Mr Suleman Raza has received his MBE for his services to business and philanthropy during an investiture ceremony at the Windsor castle.
“This achievement holds a special place in his heart and is historical as it was the last honours announced by the late Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s Honours List released in June 2022.”
The restaurant revealed that the Prince of Wales was “enthralled by his amazing journey” which saw Mr Raza arrive to the UK “with nothing but a dream” 22 years ago.
Mr Suleman Raza MBE started in ‘a dark and dingy Brixton eatery’
Starting as a dishwasher in “a dark and dingy Brixton eatery”, Mr Raza is said to have taught himself how to cook, before he, his elder brother and his co-founder Nasir Shahbaz opened the 15-seater takeaway Spice village in Tooting back in 2004.
The restaurant added on behalf of Mr Raza: “Receiving this recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of not just myself, but the incredible team of people I have been fortunate to work with over the years.
“The MBE stands for Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and it is humbling to think that my efforts have contributed in some small way to making an impact in this great country.
“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of customers as without their support we would not have come this far, our friends, family, our incredible team at Spicevillage and especially my mother who has been my bedrock and inspiration.
“I am also grateful to Great Britain for the opportunities it has given me, nurturing me, helping me thrive and enabling me to impact and influence the world in my humble capacity.
“This is truly an unforgettable moment, and I look forward to continuing to work towards creating a better tomorrow for us all in the Great Britain, and hopefully, the rest of the world.”