Tom was born in Toronto, Ontario January 23, 1956. He graduated from William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in 1975. He attended the University of Toronto to pursue a Bachelor Degree in History. He put himself through University by working at Lake Louise Chateau and Jasper Park Lodge working his way up from pot washer to Captain Waiter. After a brief pit stop in Montreal, Tom decided to try his luck in sunny Victoria. And so Tom began his journey into the culinary fabric of Victoria.
On February 4th, 1991 the doors were opened to Ferris’ Oyster & Burger Bar. With a simple menu of oysters, burgers and sweet potato fries the restaurant gained steady stream of coffee kids and regulars. In the fall of 2005, Ferris’ Upstairs Seafood & Oyster Bar was born and downstairs was redubbed Ferris’ Grill & Garden Patio (creating confusion that still exists today). The upstairs/downstairs venture helped the restaurant grow by leaps and bounds. In 2014 the upstairs Oyster Bar got a well-deserved renovation and across from the Oyster Bar….Perro Negro Tapas & Wine was brought to life. Today All three restaurants continue to thrive.
Along the way Tom was also successful in creating several other ventures, Twists, café Giovanni, Zombies Pizza and Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti bar.
Tom loved his work, staff, customers and his family; whistling every morning leaving to drive to Ferris’ and whistling when he arrived back home no matter how long the day.
Sadly after a very brief battle with cancer Tom passed away in August of 2019. This memorial scholarship fund has been established in his name to support hospitality workers in pursuing post secondary goals.
While success can easily be judged by the prosperity of the businesses Tom created, a better judgement of Tom’s success is the thousands of staff and customers alike, upon whose lives Tom has created a lasting impact. We hope this award will help continue that spirit.
Beginning in 2020, two $1500 bursaries will be awarded annually to restaurant employees enrolled in the professional cook or in hotel and restaurant management programs at Camosun College.