Susan and Duane Hoff, founded Fantesca Estate & Winery in 2004 after retiring from executive positions at Fortune 100 retailer, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE: BBY). Minneapolis natives, college sweethearts and entrepreneurs at heart, building a business together in the famed Napa Valley was their next dream venture. Fantesca (www.fantesca.com), a 53-acre boutique winery and estate in the Spring Mountain District produces nearly 5,000 cases of estate cabernet, chardonnay, pinot noir and a proprietary red blend each year.
Susan began a 30-year career with Best Buy during its start-up days. She started as their accounts payable clerk, working her way though college. Upon graduating from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, she rose to become the primary communications strategist for the Fortune 100 company for nearly 25 years. Her team consisted of Public, Government, Community and Investor Relations; and Employee Communications.
A firm believer in community involvement, Susan established the Best Buy Children’s Foundation (BBCF) and its famed Charity Classic. To date, the event has raised over $45 Million benefitting national children’s programs. Susan and Duane are now focusing their philanthropic efforts through local non-profits and entrepreneurial start-ups in the San Francisco Bay area.
A perpetual learner, Susan earned her MBA in International Business at KEDGE in Bordeaux, France in 2007, graduating with distinction. When she’s not at the winery or on a conference call, you can find Susan in the gym. She achieved certification through the NASM as a personal trainer in 2013, and in August 2015 was awarded her Fitness Pro Card at the World Bodybuilding Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) International Worlds Competition. Learn more: www.susanhoff.fitness.
Duane was recruited by his wife Susan to join Best Buy. He started as an Assistant Store Manager in 1992. By 1998 he was VP of Business Development and Strategy. He played a part in Best Buy’s rollout of many new technologies including Satellite TV, Digital Cameras, Virgin Mobile Phones, and Netflix subscriptions.
Perhaps his largest contribution to the company was the development of their small store initiative. The smaller prototype allowed the company to successfully enter new markets generating an additional $400 million in annual sales. Duane left Best Buy in 2004 to found Fantesca Estate & Winery with Susan.
Today, Duane and Susan enjoy all that Napa Valley life has to offer while growing a business with their adult children – one of whom is an aspiring winemaker, and the other, a budding biotech entrepreneur.