About Mom's Restaurant

An Interview with Louie DeSantis

Could you tell me a little bit about this business and how it came to be?

Well, the Corson family started it twenty-five years ago.  I am not sure if you know about the Corson family, but I will give you a bit of history.  Shane Corson was a hockey player; he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and a select few other teams.  His parents were actually the ones who started it.  When Mr. Corson passed, the family moved back to Barrie (where they were initially from) so, they put this place up for sale.  We needed a business, it was the right opportunity and location, so we purchased it, and have been running it for 20 years now.

Could you tell me a bit about yourself, and what you were doing prior to owning this business?

Prior to owning this business, I actually owned an apple orchard in Milton, Ontario.  However, when I met Fanny (my wife now), we needed a new business as the apple orchard didn't produce enough to sustain a family.  As I said earlier, Mom's Restaurant came up, we bought it, and have been here ever since.

What do you enjoy most about owning a business like this?

When people walk out of here with a smile on their face.  People think money all the time, but I don't think that way.  Making the customer happy is first then the money will come.  When a customer tells me they enjoyed the food, or the environment, or the service, that ultimately gives me more satisfaction than money could ever give.

It's the customers that make the business, 100%.  I've established relationships with almost all of them.  Socializing with them is what makes me excited to get up and get to work everyday.  We have a lot of regulars that come in every day, and its these people that make our business successful.  We are truly grateful for their continued service. But, at the same time, they only come back if they like the service.

What advice would you give someone who is looking into starting a business, or like you, buying into one and owning it?

Make sure you're prepared to work long hours, and most importantly, make sure you enjoy what you're doing.  If you don't like what you're doing, no matter what business you're in, you're not going to be successful.

What are some things that you would like to highlight about this business specifically?  Are there things you are hoping to offer or do in the future? 

Everything we purchase, in terms of ingredients, is top-end.  Anything that comes in that door, is triple A (AAA), the best of the best; all the food that comes in is of excellent quality.  I want people to be aware of that. Mom's Restaurant, in my opinion, could be described in two words: quality and consistency.

Another thing that we would like people to know about is our dinners and specials.  Our specials are unique, and we try to consistently come up with new ones on a regular basis, to appeal to any type of person or taste.  We also try to get away from deep-fried food as much as possible, and use pan-frying.   This doesn't just apply to our dinner menu though; it encompasses both our breakfast and lunch menus as well.  I would say only a handful of things we serve are deep-fried.

Finally, the restaurant is clean; we have been given countless amounts of praise on that.  The washrooms are cleaned every 15 minutes and the floors are all vacuumed after our lunch rush.

Is there anything that you are hoping to do with this business in the future, such as changing the menu, or adding new items to it?

What I was told when I bought the business 20 years ago, was don't change a thing.  The customers like what we offer, and everything on our menu sells.  So, we try to maintain that.  The only thing that I would say for future plans is that we are always continuing to improve our quality, adding new special items, and pleasing our customers. 

Personal question for you, do you have a favourite dish or order off the menu?

I like everything on the menu.  I've tried everything!  Except liver, haha, I don't like liver.  But, that is actually one of the most popular items on the menu.  It's a big seller for us.

Our Eggs Benedict is also a really popular menu item.  We don't skimp on any of our ingredients, for any dish!  If someone comes in expecting a delicious Eggs Benedict for breakfast, that is exactly what they are going to get.

Thank you for your time, Louie.  On a final note, you said you wanted people to know about your dinners and specials here, so, what is something that you would say about them to potential new customers?

We would like them to know about our seafood, we have our 6oz sole, our shrimp are jumbo tiger shrimp 10 to 15 per pound, our scallops are similar to the shrimp, and everything is pan-fried to perfection. We Also have 6 and 10oz triple A steaks.  I can't stress these words enough: quality and consistency. Come try our dinners, you won't be disappointed!