The first Hofmeister to come to America to pursue his dreams was Nicholas Hofmeister, Carter Hofmeisterâ€™s “great-great-great grandfather”. He arrived in America in 1855 and started the family entrepreneurial tradition by opening the Hofmeister Grocery store at College Avenue and Michigan.
FRED GUSTAVE HOFMEISTER
In his late teens and early 20’s, Fred experienced two awakenings. One was his passion to run his own business rather than working for others. The second was a love for physical fitness (about a half century before it hit the rest of the country). Both of these proved to be lifetime obsessions, despite never making more than an average living he pursed his obsessions. This could easily be traced to his total commitment to the members of his gymnasium. Even with hundreds of clients, Fred had encyclopedic knowledge of each one. He knew their starting weight along with last year’s, last month’s and last week’s…observing the resultant change in self-esteem and overall progress. His son Gary commented: “My dad did the greatest thing you could possibly do for another human being. He helped them help themselves through hard work and determined effort. Then he didn’t try to take the credit himself. It was extraordinary and all my life I’ve had people come up to me telling me just how much my dad meant to them. What a legacy!”
Founder Gary Hofmeister’s love for the fine jewelry business didn’t arrive until his late 20’s. Prior to that, his passion from early childhood was to be a professional singer/actor, which developed after college graduation from performing for the USO Air Force base overseas. This was followed by a Broadway tour and several seasons in summer stock productions. The next several years included sales and management work preparing him to begin his own fine jewelry store in 1973. “Although I never thought this is where I would be, I am extremely grateful that these disparate backgrounds were the perfect training ground to make this business successful. I thank God for that!”
Though Carter was only 18 when his grandfather died, he seems to have internalized the entrepreneurship and personal service to others that Fred epitomized. Carter is determined not only to insure the prosperity of the business, but even more importantly to carry further the tradition of integrity, service and commitment. These traditions were begun by his grandfather almost 3/4 of a century ago and Hofmeister’s slogan of NOW AND ALWAYS says precisely that.