A new chapter for Green Cabin: A 134-year old family business

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The early beginnings of this family owned business dates back to 1884, when two Englishmen and the late Mudaliya Thomas Rodrigo owned and managed the Pagoda Tea Rooms to sample the world famous Ceylon Tea to travellers at a tea kiosk at the Colombo harbour.

Later the business moved to its premises at Chatham Street. At a later date, the business was bought by one of the trio the late Mudaliya Thomas Rodrigo. His son Cyril Thomas Rodrigo who then became actively engaged in the business supported his father to manage the business.

Subsequently he purchased the business from his own father and later established Cyril Rodrigo Restaurants, which added the Green Cabin to its portfolio. Cyril Rodrigo Restaurants was the caterer to Colombo’s most important events and was the preferred venue for Colombo’s elite.

Soon the brand grew to become one of the nation’s best-loved restaurants with its chocolate cakes, cheese cakes, pies and even their lamprais becoming legendary. This legendary family business, with a hundred plus year heritage earned a reputation for being the home of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. Green Cabin will soon be embarking on a new chapter of change and growth.

After deliberating on the best way forward for the iconic business, the family recently made the decision to sell the business to a cousin within the family, whose sons are keen to take over the development of the brand and its business. This transition will pass Cyril Rodrigo Restaurants to its fifth generation, a remarkable achievement for a family-owned business that has truly stood the test of time.

As part of the way forward, the land at which the main Green Cabin outlet is located will be sold independently but Green Cabin will soon be operational from a new location whilst its other outlets will continue to be functional.

The food and beverages that customers have known and loved for generations will continue to be available for all to enjoy.

This decision to divest the shareholding and the property was agreed upon after much discussion and deliberation. It is at this juncture that the family decided to separate the company, Cyril Rodrigo Restaurants and the land on which the Green Cabin is presently located.

A family member said “The Green Cabin was bought by our grandfather the late Cyril Thomas Rodrigo from the De Vos’. Seeya was a man with a vision, who was hard working, dedicated and very passionate. He built us an iconic brand, which has proven to be an invaluable asset to his family to whom he was totally devoted, especially to his twelve grandchildren. Our grandfather was a man of integrity and was respected by all sectors of society. In fact, he practiced backward integration even before it was ever conceptualized; He truly gave food its rightful place in Sri Lanka. We are very proud of the legacy left behind by our late grandfather.”

The new team of the company said, “We will soon be relocating the business to new premises with several improvements to our service offering. We are very keen to usher a new future for the Green Cabin and the other businesses within the portfolio. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many generations of customers, the extended family and our well-wishers for their patronage and faith in us. We hope you will continue to visit us to enjoy your favourite Green Cabin treats at our new flagship outlet.” (Leisure Plus)

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