Spirit Experts

Wine and Food Festival, San Diego Bay, Donald FreytagDonald

Executive Vice President
Hawaii Sea Spirits

Don Freytag is Executive Vice President and an owner of Hawaii Sea Spirits, LLC, a fast-growing family-controlled business based in Kula, Hawaii (Maui), which owns, manufactures and markets unique ultra-premium spirit brands (OCEAN Organic Vodka and Deep Island Hawaiian Rum). In this role, Mr. Freytag has helped accelerate the business from a trend in the single digits in 2009 to quintupling the size of the business through organic growth and new market expansion. He recently raised more than $5 million in equity capital for HSS to support this fast-growing venture. Mr. Freytag also serves as Strategic Advisor and equity partner of Bourbon Barrel Foods of Louisville, Kentucky, a fast-growing gourmet food products manufacturing company with a line of more than 30 proprietary bourbon barrel aged and bourbon barrel smoked spices, sauces, sugars and bitters.

Prior to these positions, Mr. Freytag worked for Brown-Forman Corporation for more than15 years in a variety of sales, marketing and general management leadership roles in wines and spirits, culminating with P&L responsibility for a $75 million (sales) portfolio of wine brands from California, Italy and France. During that time, he launched many new businesses for Brown-Forman including Virgin Vines, a new wine brand he developed in partnership with Sir Richard Branson (Chairman of Virgin Group plc).

Mr. Freytag attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT where he received a BA double major in Economics and French in 1988. After his time at Trinity, he spent four years working for The Benchmark Group, a marketing consulting firm based in Westport, Connecticut. While at Benchmark, Freytag sold and managed more than $2 million in client business for a wide variety of consumer product companies including such blue chip clients as Mattel toys, Nabisco, Ocean Spray, Johnson & Johnson, Pirelli, Labatt’s beer and Wild Turkey bourbon. After Benchmark, Freytag attended Harvard Business School where he received his MBA with a concentration in General Management in 1994. During his experience at Harvard, Freytag was President of the Small Business and New Enterprise Club and attained highest distinction for leading an Entrepreneurial Management field study with Harpoon Brewery in Boston.

Mr. Freytag is a high energy and engaging business leader with an entrepreneurial spirit who loves adventure and new challenges. He enjoys investing in and advising high growth and high margin companies with differentiating and compelling market positionings. Married with 3 children, Freytag lives in Louisville, Kentucky and enjoys traveling, painting, playing golf, fishing, surfing and scuba diving in his free time.