Trojans in Business: Tyler Wilson

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Here is the first in our new series on former student-athletes succeeding in the business world...

Wilson-Restaurant-McG.JPGName: Tyler Wilson

Resume: Co-owner Wurstkuche Restaurant

Sports at USC: Water Polo and Swimming

How was Wurstkuche born?

We opened in 2008.  We wanted to open a bar, but we realized quickly that that wasn't going to happen in the traditional sense.  We started brainstorming what we could do exceptionally well that fits a niche to combine a great experience and food that hasn't been done this way.  Sausage has always been done in a tier two or three capacity and not an A-level.  We set out to do a premium gourmet and exotic sausage grille.  From there, we moved towards German and Belgium beer, which created this German brand, and we realized we had a beer hall on our hands.  We've opened two stores and are quickly working on a third.

Being a young guy fresh out of USC, how much did you take into account your young clientele's limited budget yet foodie taste buds?

WurstKuche-McG.JPGWe had a goal to pair the best sausages with the best beers in the world, but we still wanted somebody to be able to get a beer and a sausage for less than $10.  A group of people can come together for a party, but since everyone pays individually, each person can scale to their budget, but everybody has the same great experience.

How does playing for Jovan Vavic and Dave Salo translate to the business world?

It's almost as hard as going to a Jovan [Vavic] practice or [Dave] Salo sprint workout.  Jovan had my number from day one.  He's a really great guy outside of the pool, but he's a whole different kind of Serbian on the pool deck.

Do you take extra pride in creating a successful business just down the street from USC?

I love seeing USC students in here.  It is really great being a part of the Trojan network.  I have spoken to some of the entrepreneurship and business classes at Marshall.  One of the classes actually comes to me once a semester and we have beers here.  The current students seem to really relate because I'm only a couple years older than them and they see that it's totally doable.

(Photos by John McGillen)

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