British Pakistani restaurateur Suleman Raza awarded an MBE by Prince William
Image by Instagram @iamsulemanraza
British Pakistani food entrepreneur, restaurateur, and philanthropist Suleman Raza has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by the Prince of Wales for his services to business and philanthropy.
He has mentioned that the 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.
Prince William, while presenting the medal, had a conversation with Raza about his inspiring journey. He arrived in the UK about 22 years ago, with nothing but a big dream. He started as a dishwasher in a dark and dingy Brixton eatery, taught himself how to cook, and eventually, with the help of family and friends, he and his elder brother, co-founder Nasir Shahbaz opened a 15-seater takeaway restaurant called ‘Spice village’ in Tooting back in 2004. Today, that business has expanded into one of the leading hospitality groups in the country.
Raza is also founder of the ‘One Million Meals’ campaign which was established to feed free-of-cost meals to NHS staff, frontline workers, as well as homeless and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He wrote in a post shared on Instagram, “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my brother Nasir as without his unconditional support and guidance I would have never come this far, to all my friends especially @iamarifanis Arif Anis FRSA & @bilalbinsaqib who have always been there for me , my family, my team 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.”
He added, “It is humbling to think that my efforts have contributed in some small way to making an impact in this great country.
“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.”