Andrew Hetzel of Cafemakers, LLC has been named one of the Forty Under 40 top young business leaders in the State of Hawaii for 2007 by Pacific Business News.
In an award ceremony held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu on Thursday, June 21, Mr. Hetzel (age 33) and 39 other best and brightest young businesspeople in the State were honored by the Pacific Business News, previous Forty Under 40 award recipients and Hawaii business leaders.
“I’m very honored to have been included in this group of very impressive business, education and government leaders,” says Hetzel. “Such unexpected independent recognition of the work that I perform is extremely gratifying.”
A biography and summary of achievements for each of the 2007 Forty Under 40 honorees appears in the Friday, June 22 print edition of Pacific Business News.
In a written statement, CEO & Chairman Al Landon of Bank of Hawaii commented, “We are proud to salute these outstanding business professionals for their impressive achievements and high standards of excellence in their industries. Their energy, professionalism and dedication for their work and volunteerism serve as an inspiration for all of us.”
A college dropout and self-made millionaire before the age of 30, Andrew Hetzel sold his retail services business to overseas investors and turned his attention to the marketing of really good coffee. Now he’s on his way to being a guru for baristas.
Hetzel made his fortune in Ann Arbor, Mich., with a company called Asint (rhymes with “nascent”) that supplied touch-screen kiosks for consumers wanting more information in BMW showrooms, Calvin Klein stores and other retailers. In 2001 he sold the company, now called Digit Touch Systems, to his Dutch partner.
“By that point I was already deep into coffee,” he said. “It was my hobby. No, it would be fairer to say it was my obsession. I moved first to Los Angeles and then to Hawaii and got deeper and deeper into the coffee business with my current company, Cafemakers.”
Today, Hetzel is in demand as a speaker on coffee marketing. He was the coffee program chairman for the 2006 Tea & Coffee World Cup Expo in Shanghai, he has been a judge representing the United States at the World Barista Championships, and in May he was a speaker at the 75,000-attendee Restaurant Show in Chicago.
“Coffee doesn’t have the precision that manufacturing did,” Hetzel said. “But it’s a lot more fun.”
A member of the Long Beach, Calif.-based Specialty Coffee Association of America as well as the Hawaii Coffee Association, Hetzel is the author of “12 Fundamentals of Coffee Business Success.”
Later this year he will be launching a new culinary school to educate local coffee business owners and staff on how to properly prepare and serve specialty coffee beverages.
“We believe that Andrew’s efforts are not only helping to improve the taste of coffee served in restaurants, but also endure the continued world awareness of Hawaii as a top coffee-growing region,” said Karen Jue, president of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee in Holualoa.
Hetzel is a supporter of the Kahilu Theater in Waimea and donated $2,000 of his coffee training services to the Women Helping Women domestic violence shelter on Maui. That got the attention of Guy Cellier, founder of Forest Solutions Inc.
“When not toiling over the perfect cup of espresso, Andrew is involved in a number of charitable events, sometimes even combining the two for a good cause,” Cellier said.
Not that Hetzel toils only when coffee is available. This summer he returns to Michigan to undertake a 300-mile bike ride on behalf of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.