There are people you can tell a lot about by the way others speak of them.
Two such people are Leonard and Eleane Baranyk, local business owners who were commemorated on Friday in a ceremony in which a section of Hutchings Street named in their honour.
"This is a blessing," said Eleane Baranyk, with tears in her eyes. "We’re blessed with what we have. Our family, our friends, our co-workers, everybody worked together to make us what we are today, and we’re very thankful for them. I never thought in a thousand years we’d ever have a street named after us, but it’s the best gift they could have given us."
For the next five years, Hutchings Street from Inkster Boulevard to Sheppard Street will be known as Leonard & Eleane Baranyk Way. It’s in the Inkster Industrial Park.
Winnipeg streets can be assigned an honorary name. Applicants must justify the rationale for why an individual, or individuals, should be recognized.
In the case of the Baranyks, it was because of their significant contributions to the community through their business endeavours.
The Baranyk family has owned the independent food distributor Pratts Food Service for 37 years and provides food wholesale to a number of businesses, restaurants, grocery stores and hospitals around the country.
Leonard joined Pratts — which has operated since 1910 — as an accountant in 1967 and purchased the company in 1980.
Under his leadership, the company has gone from being Winnipeg-based with eight employees, to having locations across Western Canada and employing more than 540 people.
Their three sons are also employed with the company, and Leonard and Eleane still go to work every day.
"This was the first real surprise of my life," said Leonard laughing. "The people who work here are like a big family. We can’t do it without them. It’s them, our customers and everyone else who makes the wheel go."
This isn’t the only milestone this month for the family. Friday was Leonard’s 73 birthday and today is Leonard and Eleane’s 50th wedding anniversary. July 3 will also be the 50th anniversary of Leonard joining the company.
"We wanted to celebrate them and everything they’ve done," said Tom Tetlock, vice-president of the retail division.
"They’re fantastic people who’ve not only survived, but thrived, in the business environment of today, all with family values."
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.