By Senaka Samarasinghe
Peter Bastians inaugurated his fifth restaurant, Taste of Sri Lanka, at the Outlet Collection Mall during the end of September 2023.
Peter, a student from Carey College in Colombo, started his business career in Saudi Arabia in the field of Food and Beverage. Subsequently, he migrated to Canada and established a Sri Lankan food restaurant named Taste of Sri Lanka in the early 1990s at The Forks in Winnipeg. Peter opened a second family-owned restaurant with his loving wife Shrima and three children James, Dilshan and Melani in Winnipeg Square.
Sometime back, Melani started The Green Eatery organic, gluten-free vegan restaurant. Further, she incorporated another restaurant to serve healthy Caribbean cuisine. Recently, Melani moved from Milton, Ontario to Winnipeg. She shifted these two business ventures also to Winnipeg Square as the third family unit in Winnipeg Square and their fourth business undertaking in Winnipeg.
Bastians’ family business expansion process extended in mid-September 2023 with the launch of a fifth unit at the Outlet Mall under the name of Taste of Sri Lanka. Now Peter is the owner, president and CEO of these five business entities.
During my tenure as President, Sri Lankan Association of Manitoba (2015/2016), Peter took a leading role to create the Sri Lankan Business Council in Manitoba. In 2017, the first meeting of Sri Lankan Seniors was conducted at the Auditorium of the Pembina Trails Library. At this meeting Peter was unanimously elected as the first President, Sri Lankan Seniors Manitoba.
During the mid-2020s, South Pointe Commercial Area preliminary activities started such as underground pipe laying. As South Pointe neighbourhood committee and Janice Lukes, City Councillor, Waverley West took an initiative for consultative meetings with the builder Ladco Co. Ltd. As a Sri Lankan businessman, I invited Peter to these meetings. During dialogue sittings, Peter shared his F & B industry sector experiences to be implemented in this new settlement area.
According to my knowledge among the Sri Lankan community Peter is the only active politician (mainly provincial) for the last few decades in the Province of Manitoba.