Today we’re coming to you with the third story in our Community Voices series! As we look forward to our Business & Nonprofit Roundtable, we are thrilled to hear from the entrepreneurs, restaurant owners, and creatives (to name a few) that are investing in our community! Together, we are a dynamic group of learners and doers who share the common goal of changing the lives of students and breaking the cycle of poverty through the power of education.

Roshan, owner of Basanti Restaurant in SJC, is one of the community members joining us in our mission. Recently, we got the opportunity to learn more about his journey into the restaurant business. Roshan’s story inspires us to pursue our passions, and we are so grateful for his dedication to community engagement!

Breakthrough: How did you get into the restaurant business?

I first came to the United States to promote adventure trekking for Nepal, but decided to pursue culinary and hospital management. I was fortunate that I was living in San Francisco—the food hub of the US. Very quickly, I was exposed to a variety of restaurants from high-end exquisite restaurants to street flairs. I was particularly drawn towards the different neighborhoods in San Francisco, and the restaurant and cafés in these neighborhoods that served the community. These neighborhood bistros and cafés took me back to Kathmandu—my hometown. I had grown up spending my morning in local teashops and spending my evenings with friends in a casual neighborhood restaurant’s patio. These kind of hangouts bring the community together, provide a place to relax after a busy day, and bring families together. These experiences inspired me to open a neighborhood restaurant. In addition, having been brought up in a household where my father rushed home from work every day to try new recipes for us, and spent weekends treating extended families to his delicacies, I yearned to create an establishment that served delicious cuisine whilst making guests feel welcome.

Breakthrough: Why do you feel it is important to give back to the community as a business owner?

It is very important to serve the community that supports and sustains us. Without the community’s support, Basanti wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be here. Being new to the area, the San Juan community has embraced us. I have patrons that are really my ambassadors and are really invested in the well-being of Basanti. I am truly humbled and grateful with such love and want to reciprocate the same feeling back. Communities are the strength of a strong civil society that fosters growth, peace, and prosperity. Being a business owner, I have resources available that may not be available to every single individual. I have a platform to bring people together. Hence, I want to use that to help the community as well.

Breakthrough: What is your favorite part about owning Basanti?

My favorite part of owning Basanti is really to be able to serve the community, and bringing them all together. Of course, it is a business and it sustains me, my family, and my team’s life, but that sustainability comes with great comfort that we are doing meaningful work.

The mission of Breakthrough SJC is to provide tuition-free academic programming for students who are underrepresented in higher education. As we continue to develop relationships with the people of San Juan Capistrano and beyond, we are grateful for people like Roshan, who supports Breakthrough as a Corporate Partner! Don’t forget to stop in to Basanti, located on Ortega Highway in SJC, to support Roshan and his business!

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