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Kabobs for kids, community
It’s a labour of love that’s cooking up a love for philanthropy.
On Sat., Sept. 22, Farhad Sultanpour and Glenda Lagadi will celebrate the grand opening of their fine dining Persian cuisine restaurant, Kabob Palace, with proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg.
But the philanthropy won’t end there — the Transcona husband and wife duo aren’t looking to turn a profit for themselves off the eatery, located at 595 Notre Dame Ave.
Instead, all proceeds from the restaurant will be funneled in the couple’s philanthropic efforts in Winnipeg and abroad.
"That’s a promise we make," Sultanpour said prior to the restaurant’s opening.
It’s been a long journey since the two arrived in Canada — Lagadi from the Phillipines in the 1970s, Sultanpour from Iran in 1988.
Sultanpour recalls not being able to afford a drill when he started flipping derelict houses in the city, while Lagadi slowly built up her accounting business, Glenda’s Tax, located next to the restaurant.
After 17 years of marriage, they have worked tirelessly to help build two schools in Iran and Kurdistan, with a third to be built this month, and another one planned for the Phillipines.
The two built a mosque for women in Iran in 1997, and are co-founders of the Winnipeg Central Mosque on Ellice Avenue in the West End.
Along with donating healthy sums to Haitian earthquake and Phillipines flooding relief, they also support 100 adopted families, paying $30 to 50 a month that helps put food on the table and send kids to school.
"We try to give what we can," Sultanpour said.
Sultanpour said he inherited charitable ways from his father, who was tortured and killed because of his Kurdish heritage in Iran. His father’s death prompted him to flee to Canada.
"We’ve seen the poverty, we’ve seen the persecution," Sultanpour said, noting he hopes to build 101 schools.
"We have no kids, so our goal is charity.
"We all learn from each other," he added, acknowledging Canada’s role in helping him build a wealthy, successful life.
"Canada has given us so much, it’s time to give back to the community."
Healthy countries are built with youth in mind — that means good schools and even better healthcare, Lagadi added.
"(Youth) are the very foundation of our economy," she said.
The menu at Kabob Palace promises "affordable fine dining" with schawarmas ($12) and more than 20 different kabobs that use Triple-A beef barbecued "in front of your eyes," Lagadi said.
"We want to be the pride of Winnipeg," she said. "We’re expecting this to be very rewarding."
The two are encouraging other independent restaurateurs to give back by taking time once a month to donate proceeds to charity.
"Everybody’s obligation is to give. With a couple thousand dollars, you can make someone self-sufficient," Sultanpour said.
"We can have an impact. Others can do the same thing."
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