logo
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque.
+387648592568
info@elatedthemes.com
Eighth Avenue 487, New York
Instagram Feed
Search
Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Johan Engman

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Johan Engman

Read Bio

Johan Engman was born and raised in Östersund, Sweden before moving to San Diego in 1997 at the age of 16. One year later, he moved out on his own while still in high school, working nights as a dishwasher to pay rent. He was promoted to busser, then server, and continued working at multiple restaurants throughout San Diego until he was 25. Realizing his passion for the industry, Engman gave himself two years to save money to open his own restaurant.

On October 9th, 2008 Engman opened Fig Tree Cafe in Pacific Beach on a shoestring budget of $45,000. After three months of losing money, he was faced with a tough decision. To close the restaurant and make some drastic changes his life, or somehow come up with a way to keep the doors open. Many people suggested that Engman close the place down. “The economy is terrible Johan, nobody will blame you for closing,” they’d say. Due to his stubbornness and determination, Engman decided that under no circumstances would he throw in the towel. He limited the hours of operation for the restaurant as much as possible, and finagled his way into a full-time job in the accounting department of a pharmaceutical company (long story on how he managed to pull that off without any experience). Engman managed to pay personal bills and offset the losses of the restaurant for three years after opening, until the restaurant finally turned a profit. In 2011, Engman left the corporate job and opened Fig Tree Cafe’s second location.

Engman has always been an avid traveler. It’s a way for him to recharge his batteries while being inspired by new countries, cultures and cuisines. He vividly remembers being in a hut next to the Danum River in the rainforest of Borneo during a day when it wouldn’t stop raining. He was thinking about Fig Tree Cafe and the aspects of its concept that could be improved. In lieu of drastically changing it, Engman decided to conceptualize a new restaurant utilizing what he’d learned from opening and running Fig Tree Cafe. He knew he wanted to simplify things and ensure that the consumer could identify and relate to the concept. Engman believed that breakfast was a severely underserved market and had lots of room for growth, not to mention that the San Diego consumer really seemed to love the first meal of the day, along with the boozy brunches that come with it.

Twelve hours later the rain was still pouring down, and the name “California Breakfast Republic” was born. The original idea for the logo was not what it is today, but not far from it. Engman continued adding ideas, such as a placing heavy emphasis on design and branding, designing a menu that was unique yet still offered the classics, and incorporating hidden puns and quotes throughout the restaurant that the consumer would discover over multiple visits.

Breakfast Republic (he decided to drop “California” from the name) opened its doors in North Park on July 26th, 2015. The attention to detail, such as quirky quotes printed on the undersides of coffee cups, funny and sarcastic sayings on napkin bands, life-sized “egg” chairs, bathroom “music” and mirrors along with custom-made branded t-shirts and caps, were a hit from the beginning.

Almost exactly one year later, Breakfast Republic’s second location in Liberty Station opened, followed by several more spots over the next few years. New Breakfast Republics continue to pop up in San Diego, having expanded to Orange County and most recently, to Los Angeles. Engman’s restaurants are under the umbrella of Rise and Shine Hospitality Group, which includes other successful restaurants such as Feast and Fareway, Eggies, and Gaslamp Breakfast Company, with more to come. He certainly is a rising star, having just been awarded the San Diego Business Journal’s 2021 private large company CEO of the Year Award.

In addition to owning and operating restaurants, Engman enjoys traveling and the outdoors with his wife Yasmin, son, and two dogs. They are also guilty of immersing themselves in a good Netflix binge from time to time!

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Cesar Garcia

Read Bio

Cesar Garcia is the Chief Operating Officer for Rise & Shine Hospitality Group.

Born and raised in La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico, Cesar grew up a die-hard soccer fan and soaking up the sun along the warm beaches of the Sea of Cortez

After many years of culinary experience working in the kitchen for international brands, he joined the Rise & Shine Hospitality Group in 2011 as a line cook working at their first restaurant, Fig Tree Cafe in Pacific Beach. In 2014 he transferred to the Fig Tree Cafe Liberty Station location where he assumed the Executive Kitchen Manager position. It wasn’t before long that he was proving himself fit for the Corporate Chef position with the Rise & Shine Hospitality Group. Five years and 15 new restaurants later, Cesar proved himself to be an effective leader not only in the kitchen, but had significant influence in other areas of the operation. In 2020, he took the helm as Chief Operating Officer. He leads the operations today for the entire portfolio of boutique restaurant brands and is well positioned to orchestrate the company’s regional and national growth.

He enjoys visiting restaurants of all shapes and sizes in search of unique chefs’ creations and innovative ideas.

Chief Financial Officer

Sarah King

Chief Financial Officer

Sarah King

Read Bio

Sarah was born and raised on a Christmas tree farm in Allentown, New Jersey. She began her career in the hospitality industry at the age of fifteen bussing tables. She attended the University of Delaware where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. In 2006, seeking new challenges in a new city, she made the cross-country move to San Diego.

Sarah’s love for the hospitality industry and accounting merged in September, 2015, when she became the first member of Rise and Shine’s Accounting Department. From there, Sarah developed the systems and foundation for the Finance and Human Resource Department. Today, as Chief Financial Officer, Sarah leads the Accounting and HR team for the entire portfolio of boutique restaurant brands through it’s aggressive and calculated growth.

Sarah’s other loves are music and sports, and when she’s not working you will likely find her at a concert or sporting event.

CORPORATE SOUS CHEF

May Ortiz

Read Bio

Maryella “May” Ortiz was born in San Diego but raised in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She grew up surrounded by the influence of tourism and the hospitality industry.

Her father’s love for travel and food, and her mother’s love for cooking and baking was what peaked May’s interest in a culinary career.

After graduating valedictorian in high school, life unexpectedly pushed her into a different industry. She attended university in Guadalajara, Mexico where she graduated with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design.

A few months before her graduation, her food-loving father pushed her into going back to her true calling within the walls of a kitchen. After very little convincing, she moved back to Cabo and graduated top of her class with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts. She then immediately started working in the industry as a line cook in a Mediterranean Restaurant in Baja.

In 2015, wanting something different than what the tourist-centered Cabo had to offer, she applied to be part of the opening team of Javier Plascencia’s “Bracero,” and moved back to her hometown, San Diego. At Bracero, May quickly moved up ranks from being a Prep Cook to becoming one of the restaurants Sous Chefs. She parted ways with the group in 2016.

After working as a lead in another restaurant, May was looking for a bigger challenge in her career. In May of 2017, she joined Rise & Shine Hospitality Group as their Corporate Sous Chef. Her culinary and graphic design knowledge and abilities helped her to develop recipes, systems, handbooks, and manuals to ensure quality control across the Back of the House team.

When she’s not cooking, you can find her traveling, assisting pop-punk concerts, or just spending time with her adopted cats: Julienne, Brunoise, and Batonnet.

Research and Development Chef

Daniel Villegas

Corporate Sous Chef

Daniel Villegas

Read Bio

Born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, Daniel Villegas started his culinary career at the age of 18 as a dishwasher at California Pizza Kitchen, where he quickly moved up in rank until he became a kitchen trainer.

Deciding to pursue his passion, Danny enrolled in Southwestern College’s culinary program, studying under one of the partners of San Diego’s Saiko Sushi, he got invited to form part of the opening team of their first location in Coronado.

In 2014, he decided to move back to Mexico and continue his culinary education at the Culinary Arts School in Tijuana. During his studies he was able to do an internship at Quintonil in Mexico City, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

After returning to San Diego, wanting to apply his acquired knowledge in Mexican cuisine, Danny decided to join Javier Plascencia’s team at Bracero Cocina, where he worked as a line cook. Then, in 2016 he returned to Saiko Sushi Coronado as their Sous Chef.

Moving forward, he worked as a Lead Cook at The Cork and Craft in Rancho Bernardo, working under Chef Phillip Esteban, and as kitchen supervisor at Provisional at the Pendry Hotel in San Diego, working under Chef Christopher Osborne.

In mid 2018, he joined Rise and Shine Hospitality Group to lead the opening of their new eatery; North Park Breakfast Company. While the concept was in the works, he helped develop menus and systems for the group’s newest projects, and eventually became Feast and Fareway’s Executive Chef, moving up to be one of the company’s corporate Sous Chefs.

Director of Recruiting and Talent Acquisition

Carmina Katigbak

Read Bio

Carmina Katigbak has been an operations manager for Breakfast Republic since the fall of 2016. She graduated from San Diego State where she studied Public Administration and Hospitality. She has worked in a variety of concepts in the last 21 years, from her first job as a gum-smacking server at a 50’s themed diner to a bartender at an Asian Fusion restaurant to a decade spent running the first sustainable sushi restaurant in Southern CA.

Breakfast is her main focus now and she enjoys the challenge of continuously elevating San Diego’s brunch experience with the R&S restaurant group. When she’s not trying to make #dogsofbreakfastrepublic a ‘thing’ she enjoys spending time with her family and pups.

BEVERAGE DIRECTOR

Heather Ross

BEVERAGE DIRECTOR

Heather Ross

Read Bio

Heather born in San Diego but spent her childhood years in Orange County California. She moved to Temecula in her early twenties where she acquired a bar-tending position with P.F. Chang’s when they opened in 2009. Rising through the ranks, she ended back down in San Diego as a hospitality and bar manager where she quickly became the Operating Partner for the P.F. Chang’s in the Fashion Valley Mall. She joined the Rise and Shine Group in November 2017. Heather is excited for this new venture and motivated to assist in the success of the company.

Director of Accounting

Courtney Davis

Read Bio

Courtney was born and raised in Cromwell, Connecticut where her love for the restaurant industry was discovered. At sixteen, she was hired as a busser at a local breakfast restaurant, it wasn’t long before she became lead server. Able to juggle work and school, she graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. She accepted a position in the Finance Department of a large healthcare conglomerate creating the corporation’s budget.

Due to her adventurous spirit, it was apparent that she was ready to move on, so she packed her bags and headed to beautiful Southern California. Once settled in her new home of San Diego, Courtney joined Rise and Shine Restaurant Group. Courtney started as a bookkeeper and has since been promoted to the Accounting Manager. She is excited to continue her career which joins both of her passions; accounting and hospitality.

Being extremely active and adventurous, Courtney enjoys watching and playing sports, playing games, beaching, biking and hiking.

Accounting Manager

José Alvarez

Accounting Manager

José Alvarez

Read Bio

José was born and raised in San Diego. After graduating high school, he spent time working in industries ranging from construction to insurance. In 2016, he moved to Santa Cruz on the Central Coast of California to attend The University of California, Santa Cruz. There, he studied Business Management and Economics, with an emphasis in Accounting. After graduating in 2018, he immediately sought out a career where he could grow with a company that had a culture and values that aligned with his own, all while utilizing the skills and knowledge he had gained over the years. In the fall of 2018, Jose joined the Rise & Shine Hospitality Group’s accounting department, eager for a chance to apply the skills he learned in a business field he is passionate about.

Outside of work, José enjoys reading and drawing, along with recording music.

Director of Training

Isaac Castro

Read Bio

Born in San Diego but raised in both Tijuana and San Diego, Isaac is a first generation American. His parents always encouraged him to travel to become well-rounded in different cultures. It was his love of travel that caused him to work in the hospitality industry. While saving up for a trip to Aruba, he decided to start working at a restaurant in the evenings to help save up. That was the end for him, He fell in love with every aspect of the industry.

A few years later he started working at P.F. Changs as a server and quickly grew in the ranks. First, he became a certified trainer and quickly started helping with new restaurant openings both locally and internationally. This is where he discovered his love for training and development. Isaac joined the Rise and Shine Hospitality Group as a Regional Training Manager since late 2019 and looks forward to help the company grow.

Director of Kitchen Operations

Luis Diaz

Director of Kitchen Operations

Luis Diaz

Read Bio

Born in Corona and raised in the Temecula Valley Luis Diaz started his restaurant career at age 16 as a dish washer at P.F. Chang’s where he rapidly became a trainer and lead. Over the years Luis also worked for Lazy Dog and Yard House. In late 2018 Luis joined Rise and Shine as a kitchen manager for Breakfast Republic. Since then Luis has moved on to become corporate Sous Chef for Rise and Shine and is looking forward to further growth within the company.

Leann Molle

Read Bio

LeAnn Molle was born in San Diego and grew up in Oxnard, CA. At 19 years old, LeAnn moved to Los Angeles where she began her accounting career working in a range of industries from insurance to travel. After a few years in Los Angeles, LeAnn briefly moved to the alluring Catalina Island where she worked as a server and gained her initial restaurant experience.

With an adventurous spirit, LeAnn left California behind and moved to Sweden where she started a family, studied and obtained a degree in Account/Systems Information and spent the next 18 years.

After raising a family she decided to move back to her roots in San Diego. She obtained a position with Pro Specialties Group, Inc. as an accounting specialist. In 2014, LeAnn left PSG, Inc. and joined Rise & Shine Restaurant Group.

MAINTENANCE

Rene Serrano Valdez

MAINTENANCE

Rene Serrano Valdez

Read Bio

Rene was born in Acapulco in 1964 and lived there until 1988 when he came to San Diego. Rene immediately went to work for Pizzeria Uno in Pacific Beach and worked there and at other Uno’s in the San Diego and Los Angeles area in the Back of the House, a short stint in the front of the house and as Glenn Miller’s right hand man. It was at this time that Rene started honing his General Maintenance skills which he continues to utilize today. He moved to Seattle in 1998 where he worked with a painting contractor until the economy took a dip in Seattle and there was little to no work available. In 2000 he moved back to Acapulco and worked in the family business. His family took care of a vacation home estate in Acapulco for 30 years. They did everything at the estate from driving guests, cooking, bartending, all of the cleaning, and all of the maintenance.

Rene stayed in Acapulco until 2007 when Miller’s Field opened, at that time Rene moved back to San Diego and worked at Miller’s until 2017 when it was purchased by Breakfast Republic.

Rene very quickly became the “go to maintenance man” for all of the Rise and Shine Restaurants. He handles the painting, equipment repairs, plumbing, minor electrical, delivery of supplies, and anything else that comes up.

Accounting

Luz Coral

Read Bio

Luz Coral is a first generation Mexican-American born and raised in San Diego. Her love of travel and food began at a young age when her parents, who are both great cooks, took the family throughout Mexico. She studied Business Marketing while working in corporate America supporting C-level executives. In 2011 she joined Ladeki Restaurant Group as the Operations Coordinator and learned what it takes to support a successful restaurant. She later found herself at an organic produce company as the Billing Administrator.

Luz joined Rise & Shine in the summer of 2020 and is excited to work in an industry she is passionate about.

In her free time, she spends time with her family, visits museums, and enjoys the beautiful San Diego weather with her two pups.

Regional Training Manager

Skylar Lewis

Regional Training Manager

Skylar Lewis

Read Bio

Skylar Lewis was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. She broke into the hospitality industry at 19 years old where she started out as a host. What initially was a way to make ends meet during college, quickly turned into a passion. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communications and Marketing from the University of South Alabama, Skylar moved to New York City.

For the start of her professional career, she conquered the ins and outs of NYC as a publicist working with top restaurants to secure placements in Time Out New York, New York Times, Thrillist and many more. In 2018, Skylar made her way to the West Coast. Her first outing as a San Diego resident was brunch at Breakfast Republic. She instantly fell in love with not only the food, but the atmosphere. She went home that day, applied to be a server and the rest is history. She now trains and develops strong teams and leaders who embody the company’s culture and core values. Skylar looks forward to growing with Rise and Shine.

Regional Training Manager

Jermaine Samala

Read Bio

Jermaine was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the US along with his parents at the age of thirteen. They settled in Fresno, Ca where he spent the majority of his life and learned to call it home.

This is where he started his first job as a busser/dishwasher right out of high school and later met his wife and where his son was born. He was eventually promoted to a server and obtained his first experience training other staff members. After six years he changed restaurants and within a short time became a server trainer and then moved up to a bartender. At the same time he went to college for Nursing and was able to get an Associates Degree in Science but never pursued it beyond that. In late 2015, Jermaine moved his family to Orange County as he and his wife fell in love with the city from a previous trip. His first job in Orange County was as a server at a burger bar in Fashion Island in Newport Beach. He eventually moved on to another restaurant at the Irvine Spectrum where he was first exposed to trainers traveling from different parts of the country, along with regional managers and corporate team members traveling to help open that restaurant location. That’s where the seed of being a trainer and traveling was initially planted. Jermaine eventually moved to a fine dining restaurant where he was part of opening the restaurant as a server which further enhanced his intrigue with the process of opening a restaurant and he eventually became a trainer. While he was working there he applied at Breakfast Republic Irvine where was part of the opening team and further developed his curiosity with opening restaurants. He’s had two jobs the majority of the time that has been living in Orange County as he saw an opportunity to have an early morning job to fit in with his dinner job to supplement his income as his wife recently gave birth to their 2nd child. While working at Breakfast Republic he became acquainted with the Rise and Shine  Corporate team more and more. He’s always thought highly of them but never gave much thought to moving up beyond serving as he was focused on both of his jobs and spending as much time with his family as possible. The events of 2020 prompted Jermaine to rethink his path towards growth and led him to first become a certified trainer and then an assistant manager with Breakfast Republic.  As part of the training team for the opening of the Breakfast Republic West Hollywood location, Jermaine was able to develop his passion for teaching, helping and training people that he has always felt within. His eyes were opened to the path he wanted to take and he became a general manager with Breakfast Republic, working at the Irvine and later the Costa Mesa location.  Finding success as a general manager, he was soon promoted to a corporate position as the regional training manager.  Jermaine looks forward to continuing to grow with Rise and Shine Hospitality Group.

Regional Training Manager

Karina Afshari

Regional Training Manager

Karina Afshari

Read Bio

Karina is a California Native, born in Santa Clara county and growing up in San Diego for 21 years. Having a drive and passion for food, cooking and creating, her professional career in the service industry started at a highly favored coffee shop where she set the foundation as a customer service contributor and a team leader. Continuing with her background, she has trail blazed through many varying roles such as a bartender, server, a team leader and manager to name a few. After opening for the Breakfast Republic location in West Hollywood, she continued to pursue the training program for all Rise & Shine Hospitality concepts. Training, being a new facet of the industry, has sparked a true enthusiasm and exciting change.

Outside of work, Karina loves dance, culinary adventures and plants. She has an impressive involvement in the performing arts of color guard/winter guard for over 13 years, starting in middle school and continuing to collegiate (Go Aztecs!) and Independent levels.

She is driven and motivated to share her passion with all the new faces she will meet and collaborate with for Rise & Shine Hospitality Group.

Warehouse Manager

Mario Mauricio

Accounting

Liz Reeves

Accounting

Liz Reeves

Read Bio

After 16 years working in the veterinary field in Phoenix, AZ, Liz found herself in Little Rock, AR. It was here at the University of Arkansas that she discovered her love for accounting. She spent 6 years in the south, 3 of which gave her the opportunity to develop her accounting skills with a non-profit organization. Family drew her back out west, and she set roots in San Diego. She found her way to Rise and Shine in 2021 where she joined the accounting team. Her love for cooking, combined with an appreciation for the culture here make her very excited to grow with such an amazing company.

HR Coordinator

Ashley Palacios

Read Bio

Ashley Palacios was born and raised in Coronado, California where she started her career in the hospitality industry at the age of 18. She moved up in the ranks as Recreation and Spa Manager to Safety and Security Coordinator. She now has the opportunity to be the HR Coordinator at Rise and Shine Hospitality Group. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and her dachshund puppy whiskey. If she is not spending time with them then she is taking road trips with her sister and going hiking. Ashley is very excited for the opportunity to be able to share her experience with the team.

Regional Training Manager

Jonathan Gutierrez

Regional Training Manager

Jonathan Gutierrez

Read Bio

Jonathan joined Rise and Shine Hospitality Group in July of 2016 as a line cook at Breakfast Republic Liberty Station. He showed great effort to grow within the company and became a kitchen trainer in 2019 and then joined the corporate team as a Regional Training Manager in 2021.
Jonathan has always been inspired by his father and uncles, as they always worked in restaurant kitchens with true passion for their work. Jonathan is excited for what the future will bring with Rise & Shine.

Regional Training Manager

Q Smith

Read Bio

Marlano Smith, better known as Q, was born in New Haven Connecticut but moved to Atlanta Georgia where he spent most of his life. Q started his culinary career at the tender age of 13. Q’s greatest memories are of when he and his mother would volunteer to cook for their local church on the weekends. While he was in high school, Q worked for different restaurant groups including Darden Restaurants and Buckhead Restaurant Group. The time Q spent working with these groups eventually allowed him to attend the Culinary School at the Art Institute of Atlanta. After graduation, Q was lucky enough to work alongside celebrity chefs such as Kevin Rathbun and Hugh Acheson and was really able to hone his culinary skills. In late 2020, Q joined Rise and Shine Hospitality Group as an Assistant kitchen manager for the Breakfast Republic in Ocean Beach. He showed great perseverance in maintaining a high standard in the kitchen and was offered a Regional Training Manager Position for Rise and Shine Hospitality Group. Q’s responsibilities include overseeing kitchen operations for Fig Tree Cafes and Breakfast Companies. His attention to detail, his ability to teach and mentor are the qualities Rise and Shine really admire in his work. Q loves that he is working for a company that has so much respect for family commitment that allows him to reach his career goals while being a father to a wonderful son.

Regional Training Manager

Julio Uriostegui

Regional Training Manager

Julio Uriostegui

Read Bio

Julio joined Rise and Shine Hospitality Group in 2017 as a line cook for Breakfast Republic East Village. His hard work and attention to detail quickly earned him the opportunity to be a Kitchen Manager in 2019 followed by joining the corporate team as a Regional Training Manager in 2021.

In his free time, Juilo enjoys spending his days with his dog Kong and taking care of his car collection. He is truly excited to be a part of the team and looks forward to assisting others in their growth within the company.

Mayor of Shining Moment-ville

Tom Penn

Read Bio

Tom Penn specializes in helping burgeoning restaurant groups reach their full potential through disciplined, methodical growth with an emphasis on cultural excellence.  For  decades, Penn has worked with restaurant operation teams to harvest Shining Moments; surprise moments of joyful hospitality that make a real difference.

Penn has over 35 years in executive level hospitality and restaurant experience. After graduating from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin,  he spent 13 years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in locations all over the world helping Hyatt deliver their brand of service excellence. Over the next 12 years, he was an integral part of the leadership team of Ladeki Restaurant Group and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, opening 8 concepts and 25 restaurants. In the decade to follow, he has served as a growth specialist and Mayor of Shining Moment-Ville, helping service teams bring meaningful hospitality experiences  to their forefront.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.