We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Williamson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Before having a kid, my life was all work and very goal-oriented. As much as my life is still goal-oriented, it’s now goals that have gone in different directions. Now with our son in our lives, I have found that balance is essential, not only to maintain my health and mental wellness, but also to excel at the job that is now most important to me – being a parent and raising a well-adjusted, kind son. Balance is much more present now, because it has to be, not just for myself but for the wellbeing of our family.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our current business, Playa Provisions, is a very different concept than most of the restaurants you see, at least in Los Angeles, in the sense that it’s multi-concept: a grab & go counter with coffee, pastries, and sandwiches; an upscale seafood restaurant; an ice cream shop; and a whiskey bar, the latter of which is sadly temporarily closed. With my “business head,” we understood that maximizing the value of how many hours we could not even just be open, but that we could offer something different in a way that appeals to so many different clientele, was extremely important in times like these. With Playa Provisions, we appeal to toddlers to millennials to bar-goers to fine diners. That value is instrumental in the success of our restaurant. It was definitely not easy, and I overcame those challenges by making a lot of mistakes along the way. I think I’ve gotten to where I am today because I started so young, and I knew what I wanted to do from such a young age, that I had time on my side. My early years were not spent exploring what to do with my life, but instead I was already trying to get to the next step of my career. I was so determined to make my childhood dreams come true. Looking back, they were more life lessons than they were specific to business, such as not getting overwhelmed by things that seem difficult. I learned early on that running a successful business meant getting through the failures gratefully. There will always be failures, but not letting those dictate my path has been so important. Also, understanding that I do what I do because I love it. The moment I’m not enjoying something, I try to shift directions and pivot into a direction that will make me happier. The industry that I’m in is a difficult one, and if I can’t find happiness on a daily level in some capacity, I understand that life is too short to continue on that same path.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The most influential person to answer this question for the public has to got to be Jonathan Gold. In that respect, I don’t let price and atmosphere dictate what my plans are; I let my cravings do that. Generally, I find that the most genuine, authentic places with the most passion and originality come from those little hole-in-the-wall places. We support our chef friends a lot, like Antonia Lofaso’s Scopa Italian Roots, and Bavel in Downtown Los Angeles is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the city. We LOVE Ayara Thai in my neighborhood – awesome people, awesome food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
SO many people! I take very little credit for where I am today, I feel like so much that has allowed me to get where I am has been on the shoulders of other people, and maybe not even when they directly knew it at the time. The most obvious answer that comes to me is my husband Nick – who has been instrumental in not only creatively and logistically being my other half, but emotionally and as a parent, as well. I would absolutely not be where I am today if he weren’t there for me. I also think that our son Hudson has played such a huge part in motivating me to do better on so many different levels. I don’t think he realizes how big of a part he plays in getting both me and Nick to where we are today from a motivation standpoint, and pushing us to set a good example, team him work ethic, etc.
Other: Restaurant: www.playaprovisions.com Instagram – @playaprovisions
All can be credited to “Brooke Williamson” The photo of her winning Tournament of Champions can be credited to “Food Network”