We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Tustin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“May I be too engaged in risking my own failures To have time to criticize the failures of others.” – I read this quote about 4 months ago and it was quite convicting because I can be pretty critical of others when I’m in an unhealthy mental state. I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery over the last 12 months and this was a quote that has helped identify and direct my thoughts when I begin to venture down a path that leads to an “Unhealthy Brian”. I’ve found this is pretty applicable to all facets of my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Currently I’m the General Manager of Hospitality at Moniker Group in Liberty Station. I’m coming up on my 5 year mark with the company, but surely not always as the GM. When I first joined Moniker I was on the Design team fabricating furniture with Cody Burkholder (President of Design), James Garcia, Josh Rice, and Curtis Felten. I really enjoy working with my hands and historically have always held laborious jobs either in construction or hospitality (Shoutout to Trader Joes for 3 years). After about a year in the shop with Moniker Design, our sister brand, Moniker Hospitality launched it’s coworking space, Moniker Commons (in Liberty Station). I applied to launch and Manage that brand because it was more hospitality focused vs being in the shop. Nate Cadieux (President of Hospitality) and Ryan Sisson (CEO of Moniker Group) accepted my desire and that was March of 2017! Through out the process of launching Commons and leading the success of that brand, I was promoted to my current role as General Manager mid 2018, now overseeing F&B operations at Moniker General and our beverage catering brand, Moniker Cocktail Co. It’s absolutely been a journey of highs and lows, learning, adapting, and humbling moments. Tons of challenges and problem solving through out the whole process and incredibly grateful that the owners (Nate & Ryan) have trusted me and the teams with these brands. I’ve found that when approaching challenges, having people in your corner that you can counsel with, while continuing to take baby steps of progress are so helpful. Hardships and challenges often cause us to freeze and while in some crucial life scenarios that’s important, moments like navigating COVID-19 require creative adaptations and baby steps to keep moving forward or staying in the forefront of customers minds. By no means is it easy, but that’s just life. Moniker is built on creating spaces for people to gather and connect. We’re passionate about making that available for anyone and everyone because life is definitely better when done together with community. We pride ourselves on being a brand that is inclusive and will take an extra step to make sure people are seen and heard.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ha! These questions are great. A week long trip here with my best friend… it would definitely be filled with outdoor activities and food & beverages. A few crucial f&b experiences : Sunnies on Point Loma Ave for Fish Taco Friday as well as Blue Water Seafood in OB, OB Beans or Moniker General for Coffee, Hoboken in PB for Pizza and/or Calzone, Ironside Fish & Oyster, C-Level and/or Ketch for Happy Hour, Sandwiches would be Olive Tree Market or The Market Place by Balboa Park. Underbelly in Little Italy or North Park. There’s so many AMAZING food places in San Diego that it’s impossible to name them all. But those are places that I intentionally want to shout out. Outdoor activities : Just anything outside! Liberty Station, beaches, Shelter Island, etc. Shoutout to Goat Hill up in Oside for golf. Selfishly, I’m not going to share my favorite regular spots because they’re my favorite for being uncrowded and somewhat quiet, but I would share them with my best friend when visiting, just not everyone who reads this 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s been so many people in my life that deserve a shoutout or recognition for my success. Undoubtedly the first one goes to my wife, Christine, for being my support system, Mom of our two kiddos without any family in the area. She’s been a crucial part of my success in all that I’ve done. A big shoutout to my Life Coach, Joe Priola! He’s been coaching me since the beginning of 2020 and he has been incredibly crucial to my growth this year as a Husband, Father, and GM @ Moniker.
@amandanoel___ @chadwickgantes @christine_tustin