When you live in Wisconsin during the winter months, is there anything that sounds better than a trip to Hawaii? For most of us that is easier said than done. Fortunately, Andrew Foster (WAVE and MBA ’18) has brought a taste of Hawaii to us!
Andrew is originally from Montana and graduated with Bachelor and Master degrees in Engineering from Montana State University. After graduation, he spent a year working in Montana before making the move to Wisconsin to work for an engineering consulting firm in Milwaukee. Since Andrew’s youth, he has always been passionate about creating, building, and developing things. Therefore, it should be no surprise that he originally pursued engineering as a career path! As Andrew’s career progressed, he began to realize that he could apply his ideas of creating, building, and developing to the business world. In 2016, he began his MBA majoring in the Operations and Technology Management.
It was during his MBA internship at Johnson Controls that Andrew first encountered FreshFin Poké. FreshFin was only operating out of one location in Milwaukee and a chance encounter with founder, Nate Arkush, allowed Andrew to recognize the potential success that FreshFin could have. Andrew worked a variety of jobs throughout his life (painting, landscaping, and construction) and is no stranger to rolling up his sleeves. He asked Nate if he could spend time working at FreshFin on weekends during that summer even while he was interning at a Fortune 100 company. Andrew had worked in the restaurant industry throughout high school and college, and wanted to see first-hand the potential that FreshFin possessed.
Returning to campus for the second year of his MBA, Andrew decided that he wanted to focus on entrepreneurship and the Fellowship in Enterprise Development program and the WAVE practicum became indispensable for him. By this time, Andrew knew he would be joining Nate as a partner in FreshFin and wanted to utilize the concepts discussed in WAVE to study the Madison market for another FreshFin location. Before opening in Madison, FreshFin had opened two more Milwaukee locations, and a location in the Milwaukee Buck’s Fiserv Forum, but Andrew knew that the clientele would be very different between the two cities. Andrew spent time analyzing the market and demographics, and polling students. He wanted to see how the brand fit with students and the Madison community, their willingness to pay, and understand the awareness of Poké. Confirming that Madison would be a great location for expansion, Andrew headed up the project and was thrilled that his engineering background came in handy during the buildout of the Madison location. Andrew also credits his passion for continuous improvement and OTM experience as instrumental to operating the business. When it comes to serving premium seafood, an efficient operation ensures freshness and quality!
To get a taste of Hawaii this winter, visit Andrew at FreshFin on University Avenue. The Weinert Center is proud to call Andrew Foster an alum!