We had the good fortune of connecting with Tami Wong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tami, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I have always had the good fortune of enjoying my work. I also come from industrious people who lived to work. Going from the restaurant industry and working 50+ hours a week mostly nights and weekends to sales, where I work from home was quite a shift. I love it! I love actually cooking all my groceries instead of them languishing in the fridge while I’m at work. I love the flexibility, and I love being present for my family.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Growing up in my family’s restaurants, I thought it was my destiny to dedicate my life to hospitality on that side. Discovering wine and that aspect of service culture opened up a whole new world. I LOVE everything about serving as a wine director and sommelier! Towards the end of my restaurant career, I was tired of the drama and the hours. All I wanted was to engage in the wine trade, so going into sales was the natural next step. I’ve represented Estate Wines Ltd for three years and Wine Wise for two years. One of the most important things I learned from all the amazing chefs that I worked with is the importance of working with local farmers, fishers and butchers. Not just because it is more fresh, but because supporting your neighbors fosters community. Along the road, I discovered the emerging winery scene in San Diego. Stay Classy Selections bridges the divide between the wineries in the country and the shops and restaurants in the city. Stay Classy intends to get buyers and winemakers together to make friends and then together, put San Diego on the map as a world class wine destination.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Day One would start with breakfast at Big Kitchen in South Park, then head over Balboa Park. Dinner is a picnic purchased from Panama 66. Day Two is Ocean Beach, all day, lunch at OB Noodle House, sunset dinner and beer at Wonderland. Day Three is Little Italy, take Mona Lisa sandwiches down to Waterfront Park, wander the shops, dinner at Juniper and Ivy, then live music at The Casbah. Day Four and Five is winery time, Highland Valley then Ramona
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My two grandfathers still provide the example that I strive to attain. My paternal grandfather, Leige Wong came to the US from China, barely speaking English. He, along with my Grandma, owned a very successful restaurant that afforded them a comfortable lifestyle and the ability to put four kids through college. My maternal grandfather, Dr. Harold S. Bailey Jr, served in World War II and got his PhD through the GI Bill. He served in academia, with his work forever imprinted on the South Dakota State University system. Both men changed their communities by mentoring the up and coming with intelligence and humor.
Linkedin: Tami Wong
Facebook: Stay Classy Selections
Youtube: Wine in Tami Time
Logo: Keith Foreman