Ralph 560Ralph Hornsby of Ralph’s Hi-Way Shopette, pictured here in 1980.

Hub Staff

The Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce has announced a new recipient of their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ralph Hornsby of Ralph’s Hi-Way Shopette will be presented with the rare award at the 2017 BRASS Awards.

“After 45 years in business, Ralph exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit of the small business operator, and should be recognized for his achievements,” said Joanne Robbins, Saugeen Shores Chamber General Manager, in an update.

Ralph’s opened its doors in 1970 to a Port Elgin population of 2,500 and has since left a significant mark on the community. According to a 1995 Shoreline News article marking Ralph’s 25th anniversary, Hornsby went into business certain that a centrally located convenience store would serve the community well. Having relocated from Bridgeport where he and his family had operated a similar business, they knew what it would take to be successful and were prepared to invest the long hours.

"There is no one who has passed through the doors of Ralph's who doesn't have a story about Ralph, Cathy or David,” said Mini Jacques who will be presenting Hornsby with his Lifetime Achievement Award on June 10. She added that Ralph's staff covered three generations and has seen toddlers to seniors pass through those doors. "As Ralph always said, ‘If Ralph's doesn't have it, you don’t need it.’”

Jacques went on to say that the award celebrates not only the legacy of a successful business but a man and his family who have greatly contributed to their community. “If an individual, group, team or customer needed something,” she said, “Ralph was always there.”

Robbins said the last time the honour was given was in 2015 when it was awarded posthumously to Neil Sinclair of Square Deal Neil’s. Neil’s son Ian and his wife Edith, who run the business today, accepted the award on Neil’s behalf.

The BRASS Awards will be held at Lakeshore Recreation and will include a live and silent auction, a three course meal and cash bar with all proceeds going to benefit Saugeen Shores Chamber community projects.

A correction was made May 29. The story originally stated that Ralph's had covered two generations when in fact they had covered three.