Following fire, they rebuilt

Even a devastating fire couldn’t stop a couple’s march to the 2014 Business Excellence Awards podium to accept the Small Business Award.

Dominique Gilgen and Ahmad Mansorifard were given just recognition Saturday evening (February 22, 2014) by the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce along with about a dozen other business officials and entrepreneurs.

Gilgen and Mansorifard, from Montreal, would have been forgiven if they wished to walk away from Cornwall when a fire at the corner of Pitt and Second streets occurred Dec. 5, 2010.

It not only ruined Truffles Burger Bar, but also gutted a historic building owned by the Pommier family. It has since been transformed into an eye-pleasing community square.

Faced with starting from scratch within just months of opening, the couple got an unlikely source of inspiration and encouragement.

“Our kids actually, they are the ones that told us, ‘Mommy, daddy, we’re okay, we got to keep going,'” Gilgen said, as she and her husband met with media in the civic complex salons hallway.

Mansorifard said children should never be underestimated. “It is amazing what we learn from our kids.”

The couple took it one step further by adding ‘Table 21’ — an oyster and steak bar above Truffles.

Gilgen said an award is just icing on the cake: “It was unexpected — we just do our job and just try to be the best.”

Their award was sponsored by TD Canada Trust.