Meet Tobias Brown

Owner of Tommie’s Jerk, and the winner for our Purpose Coaching Grant.

Tobias Brown has been a trailblazer for others since the beginning of the pandemic. He understood quickly how things were changing and decided to be the first to pivot to the new way of life. He fulfilled a boyhood dream by opening a Jamaican restaurant where he can share his love of food and culture with all of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Within one year of opening its’ doors, Tobias has taken his restaurant, Tommie’s Jerk to the top of the list of all Caribbean restaurants in the lower mainland and become BC’s favourite place for Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Tobias relies heavily on his educational background (MBA- Entrepreneurship, B.S.- Marketing), formal training, life experiences and his internal instinct to guide him to the levels of success he has recently attained and will achieve in the future.

As a way for Purpose CPA to show support for Black History Month, Tobias was selected as the winner of our Purpose Coaching Grant at our financial literacy event last month. With that, we wanted to interview Tobias and his business!

Tell us a little bit about your business

Tommie’s Jerk is a Jamaican restaurant in Surrey, BC committed to sharing the Jamaican experience with all of B.C. one bite at a time. My purpose is to share a great love of food and culture and introduce as many people to the Jamaican culture through the food we offer at the restaurant and at grocery outlets nationally and internationally.

98% of those who live in Canada will never travel to Jamaica, so why not bring the Jamaican Experience to them?  I want you to feel the Caribbean vibe the moment you and your family walk through the door of my restaurant. I want you and your friend’s up dancing to reggae music and forgetting all of your problems as the world returns back to a normal state. British Columbia is a big place and I intend to reach everyone in it and share the Jamaican Experience.

What are some of the challenges you face as people of colour when growing your business?

As a person of colour, I realize there are challenges we face that others may not.  Mentally I have been prepared for this moment to do everything in my power and control to succeed.  There are things that I can control and situations I can not.  I handle the things I can, and I let go and move forward with the things I can’t.  But there’s no greater feeling than having to take the narrow road and still winning the race. 😊

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out in a similar position as you were in when you started, what would it be? 

For anyone just starting out I would say ‘Come on in, the water is fine!’  There will be very high days and very low days, there will be days that no one will respond or purchase anything from you and there will be days where you’ve sold out of your entire inventory for the next 6 months.  How you handle the highs and lows speaks to your character and answers the questions: 1. Do you really want this? And 2. How badly do you want it?   

Tell us about any programs or resources that you are aware of and whether or not they will be helpful to you to overcome challenges.

I’m always searching for new opportunities that can assist in getting my company to the level I want to be at. So far there have been 3 organizations that have aided in one way or another to my business.  1. Black Business Association of BC (BBABC), 2. Black Entrepreneur’s & Businesses of Canada Society (BEBC), and the Federation of African Canadian Economics Coalition (FACE).  Each organization has provided resources that have been pivotal to my growth as a person and a business owner.  

I am also still available for additional resources should anyone know of any to send my way. 😊

Check me out on Facebook for more details :


1. Recognized as a Hidden Gem in 2021 by Surrey Eats (the largest and most reputable foodie in the Lower Mainland)

2. Nominated- Premier’s People’s Choice Award 2022 given by Small Business B.C. (

3. Nominated- 2021 Surrey Board of Trade- Innovation Award

4. Finalist – 2022 Hewlett Packard Black Entrepreneur of the Year (an Award given to a person of African decent who is exceptional in business throughout Canada)