Tom Thumb Drive In

Est. 1978

In the summer of 1978, Thomas and the late Carmela Galbato purchased Tom Thumb Drive In and started the Galbato family tradition of serving great food and delicious desserts for their customers to enjoy. At that time, Tom Thumb Drive In consisted of a one-building ice cream stand with picnic tables outdoors overlooking beautiful Owasco Lake. Sadly, just the following summer, on July 11, 1979 Carmela Galbato was taken from her family by a drunk driver.

In every sense, Tom Thumb has been and continues to be a family business. As Tom and Carm’s children grew, Sebastian, Rick and Sandra worked in the family business. In fact, Tom’s sister, Carmela Giordano, cooked at lunch time for over 15 years.

Thanks to the loyalty of our valued customers, over the years we have grown. In 1985, we added two inside dining-rooms, using full length widows to provide for indoor seating, yet let in the natural beauty of picturesque Owasco Lake. Long time residents of the Auburn area may recognize the windows which came from Seward Elementary School.

And over the years, the Tom Thumb family has grown. Tom Thumb has employed over 150 young adults from Auburn and Cayuga County. We are proud that they are part of the Tom Thumb family and we invite you to take a look at all the names of our past and present employees displayed on the ice cream cones at the front of the restaurant.

We are also proud of our community involvement with events and organizations in the Auburn area. In 2002, we were honored to participate in an ice cream social as part of the Town of Owasco Bicentennial Celebration.

As you look around the restaurant, you may see some familiar faces from the community. Tom Thumb is a popular spot for pictures of wedding parties and high school prom groups. In 2000 Tom decided to share with his customers his love of photography by displaying on the walls just a sampling of the pictures he has taken throughout the years of our customers enjoying themselves with friends and family over dessert.

Whether you have traveled from far away or just down the road, or you are showing visiting family and friends the sights, we thank you. From the first signs of spring, to the Fourth of July fireworks over Owasco Lake and the brilliant summer sunsets, Tom Thumb is more than just a place to eat. As always, the Galbato family tries to make Tom Thumb a treat for children young and old to enjoy. So, take a moment to sit back, relax, enjoy your food and dessert, and take in the fantastic view of Owasco Lake.


Thank you for your patronage.

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