I have some sad news to report today…

Bill McCauleyOne of our own has passed away. Bill McCauley, the owner of Red Rock Foods and Daily Buzz Coffeehouse passed away on Monday morning. You may know Bill on this web site as “AzBill.” He was a regular contributor, and a sponsor.

If you’d like to read more about what happened, you can see the original article on the Tribune web site (with a few photos). Or watch the original television broadcast on AZ Central. Lastly, a follow up article was posted late Wednesday with additional details.

Important: Daily Buzz Barista’s Need Jobs

An unfortunate side effect of this is that Daily Buzz, which only opened 2 months ago in Queen Creek will be closed. This is really unfortunate.

One of the baristas emailed me to ask if I could post something about them looking for work. Here is what he said: “The Barista’s including myself are out of work and need jobs. I myself have a son and wife and others including the Manager Carla Zacher as well are hurting over the situation and need jobs. Contact me at jason_casale@fastmail.fm if anyone has jobs for us. I can pass the info to the other baristas and Carla.”

Jason Casale (Barista) — Phone (480) 654-3690 or email jason_casale@fastmail.fm
Carla Zacher — (General Manager / Barista) Email carla@dailybuzz.com
Logan (Barista) — Email jason_casale@fastmail.fm
Anthony (Barista) — Email jason_casale@fastmail.fm

I really hope that a local company can offer these people jobs or at least something temporary. If you can, kudos to you!

Red Rock Foods future…

Ron Cortez passed along that “Red Rock Foods has decided to be closed by Bill’s relatives, however business as usual will be taken by a new company called Arizona Coffee Source. Bill’s cousin who is a lawyer has everything set up and is going to operate even with the same employee and inventory (orders are being filled and delivered as now) I got my order today.” If you have an account with Red Rock Foods, just call them and they’ll take care of you.

I’d like to close by quoting Griffin911 (from the forum) when he said: “[T]he AZ coffee community lost a great friend and advocate this week. He will be missed.”

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Pierce/Bear

    RIP Bill.

  2. Very tragic. Thank you very much for sharing this. I hope the Barista’s find employment soon.

  3. Never had the chance to meet the man but had plenty of interactions with him. Sad day for sure.

  4. Chris thanks for posting this. I never made it down to Daily Buzz so I never had the pleasure of meeting Bill. Followed him on twitter though, and he seemed a decent and very nice man.

    I will make mention of the baristas needing jobs during my time on the air at kwss tomorrow between 10-2.

    Be at peace, Bill.

  5. Jeff Moriarty

    How horribly sad, but thanks for posting this. It sounds like he will be missed by many.

  6. I think that anybody who has been inside Daily Buzz, or has seen the photos and/or videos can agree that Bill did it right with The Buzz. Far too often, people dream about what they want their own business to look like, but never actually follow their dream.

    He had high standards, a taste for quality, and he put his money where his mouth was. I enjoyed my conversations with him as he was an intelligent and vivacious gentleman.

    Godspeed, Bill McCauley, Defender of the Faith, King of the Realm.

  7. Sean

    Despite being on the west side, Bill always took time to drive over, make deliveries and take time to talk about AZ coffee happenings, he will be missed.
    All of his employees are welcome at Ground Control, happy to help out as we can.

  8. Jessica Waltz

    Wow! Incredible! I know a few coffee shop owners and they all have something in common… “They are trying to survive!” I guess this gentleman made a different decision… so sad he didn’t have anyone to ask for an advice!
    My best of luck to the family and to ALL those other owners… “Please, don’t get desperate, there are many other options!”

    I suggest we support Local Coffee Houses! Who is with me?

  9. hb

    Im all in for supporting coffee houses.
    My condolences to his family.

  10. Steve Kessler

    What’s Arizona Coffee Source? When was this company formed? Bill passed away on Monday, and now a new company from within Red Rock Foods is formed in three days?? Anybody else know anything about this?

  11. We will all miss Bill. He was a good man indeed, who always seemed to have a positive attitude towards the AZ coffee industry

    I do find it odd that RR is already running under a different name (apparently without skipping a beat), and Dr. Mc Cauley hasn’t even been buried yet! Wow………….is all I can say about that.

  12. Joshua Morris

    I’m with Steve and Victor…having started many businesses, ownership never transfers that easily or quickly. Anybody ……………………..

  13. Mitch Montgomery

    Bill will be missed, he was always pushing the coffee scene in AZ and I respected him for that.

    However I agree with Steve, Victor and Joshua…What’s up with AZ Coffee Source?

  14. Jc

    I also agree with steve and victor how in the world does something get started and transfered in one day………fishy if you ask me.

  15. Mike

    Maybe he had a written exit plan in the event of his death naming AZ Coffee Source to automatically take over the business. The man likely had a very methodical estate/trust in place.

  16. Todd

    It is also possible that he was planning the transfer of the daily operation of RR so he could focus on his new venture of Daily Buzz. I seem to remember him talking about opening other locations once the initial one was running. Perhaps he was slowly devoting more of his time to Daily Buzz which made it easier for the transition to happen.

  17. I’ve spoken with Michael (who used to work with Bill at Red Rock), and I advised him against “keeping track of the stuff he sells out of Red Rock.” He says that one of Bill’s cousins is an attorney and is drawing up some kind of incorporation/agreement/whatever. Until my attorney speaks with his attorney, I’m not sure that we will be purchasing any of the RRF inventory. I don’t need successors or heirs slapping a lien on my revenue while the legalities get sorted out.

    On another note, I’d like to hope that Bill’s family will have a service here, otherwise, I think that some of us should have an Irish Wake for him at the local watering hole.

  18. I have been working with Bill for the past 6 months, first collaborating with John ( previous RR. salesman ) and now with Michael. I will try to explain certain facts: Red Rock was going through serious financial struggles and Bill was getting behind in payments with many of his suppliers. The opening of Daily Buzz was no picnic and the summer mode is already here, imagine all that along with a slow down in the economy as a whole. Arizona Coffee Source was created to continue servicing the customer base of Red Rock Foods customers so it would not put those customers in a bind from not having product to keep their businesses running. Knowing Bill for quite some time, his untimely departure was very upsetting for me and all coffee industry members. Keeping this in mind, I still expect Cortez Coffee to run even after I die (and I will someday). Any business person would agree just like the world keeps turning no matter what; well the same goes for business and it has to keep going and customers have to keep being serviced and taken care of. As far as inventory goes with Red Rock, any inventory that could be returned to suppliers that have extended credit to Red Rock has been done so to help alleviate the debt of the company. As far as inventory that can not be returned it continues to sit in the warehouse until the family members of Bill have decided what they would like to do with it. His immediate family’s explicit instructions were that they do not want to continue, nor have the means, to keep the businesses open. Arizona Coffee Source was created in order to help those customers that needed their supplies to continue doing business. Another little piece of mind for those of you wondering; a corporation can be formed online in a matter of minutes. Arizona Coffee Source’s business credentials are public record for those who are curious. If anyone still has questions please feel free to contact Michael Delcore (480.280.2297) and he will be more than happy to explain the urgency of the new company that was formed. Arizona Coffee Source has been a name that I registered and is the fort of several suppliers of paper goods, powder mixes, coffee equipment, along with representing local roasters. There will be a press release explaining the company and rest assured this blog will be notified inmediately. If this still is not enough information to ease the minds of some people and anyone still has doubts I welcome you to call me (602.418.4350) .

    Ron Cortez – Cortez Coffee
    Michael Delcore.- Arizona Coffee Source.

  19. Ron and Mike, please don’t call Bill’s customer’s under the auspices of making a Red Rock foods delivery as has been done on three occasions to three seperate people in my business. To get a call the day after the fire claiming to make a delivery on behalf of Red Rock foods is just bad business and underhanded. I phoned the national sales reps regarding the products RR sourced for us in order to find and alternate supplier in AZ or to have a drop shipment sent and as of close of business Wednesday only one of seven of Bill’s national sales reps (Mont Blanc) had any idea anything had happened. Not one of them refered me to AZ Coffee Source. So unless you magically carry all of the same products please don’t claim to be able to take care of RR’s customers, there is simply no way you can in a timely manner. As a friend and customer of Bill’s the manner in which we have been approached is insulting. Let the man be laid to rest before you jump in to take his place.

  20. DC

    So then Arizona Coffee Source was registered/owned by Cortez Coffee? Aren’t they a competitor of Red Rock?

  21. Sean and all the rest. I do not understand the attitude. Deliveries were done as a favor to late Bill, after I learned of the way that Sean treated Michael I also advice to all the pending deliveries to be let go and let the ladlord just lock the doors. This type of attitude is why I decide to open a separate legal entity. Most of the lines that RR. carried were sourced by many people here in Arizona. Cortez Coffee was coolaborating with RR and we were not a competitor. Bill was at my office almost every week. He was interested in learning how to roast because of his dream of having the best coffee house in town and he knew that roasting was a good way to do it (so He told me). Now. Lets hope that instead of nagging and gossip some of you would take action. Is very easy to write some notes on a blog, I am actually doing something to help out with notifications, burial, and many things that are needed so I am open for ideas and help. I invite Sean to coolaborate with his friend bill. Please open an bank account and collect money for the services, that way you will know that is not me collecting money on behalf of Bill or his name. I will contribute, is a sad situation and action is needed.

  22. Jessica Waltz

    Wow again!
    I was hoping to get some comments about SUPPORTING COFFEE IN ARIZONA, and all I get is… GOSSIP about a great man?

    Arizona’s coffee industry is definitely in trouble! Good luck to all those coffee house owners!


  23. Ron’s comments are good enough for me. I’m sure he’s been trying to help out with some of the ensueing chaos many of us have no visibility into. We have to consider that the original posting regarding RR can easily be taken out of context (that’s the problem with blogs and the written word), and Mr. Cortez was gracious enough to explain it in a very detailed manner.

    I’m with “The Other Bill” (Sandweg) about having an Irish Wake in abscence of a formal service. We all really ought to stick together as a coffee community, even if we are sometimes direct competitors. This is something AZBill always tried to promote.

  24. Sean

    Had a good conversation with Ron from Cortez. It is in the best interest of the coffee community here in AZ to pay our respects together, knowing that most of us business owners are very busy we’ll try to find a central location to meet for an Irish wake so we may pay tribute to Bill.

  25. steve kessler

    Okay, I’m on board with the Irish wake. OTOH, Ron please realize that the way it was wording sent red flags up. It just came across as a little strange. However, we are a community, and sticking together is important. All of us here are interested in helping. Since you have direct contact with the fam, please post info as soon as possible.

  26. steve kessler

    Oh ya….Jessica, what do you mean by “Gossip about a great man”? Who are you referring too?

  27. Bob Guenthner

    I believe that I am the attorney-cousin of Bill’s that was referred to in a blog saying that I had set up the continued operation of Red Rock Foods. That is a complete lie. No one with any authority to do so has authorized the continued operation of Red Rock Foods.

  28. Jc


  29. Joshua Morris

    Hmmm….thank you for the clarification Bob Guenthner

  30. Steve Kessler

    Bill Sandweg is right………Bill would be loving this!

  31. Okay. so let’s get on with the details of the Irish Wake. Perhaps we should take this inside to the forum.

  32. I would like to thank: Victor, Steve, Sean and Jeff for the phone call. I realize that the wording is all wrong in the posting and why someone could not get my intention. Thank you for the phone call and lets thank Bill for his last joke. Lets celebrate him in stead.
    However, I love the outpore of postings. Chris is missing all the action.

  33. Pierce/Bear

    Suffice to say when I ‘cross over’: all that I ask is that people throw an ‘Irish Wake’ for me 🙂

    Translation: I believe that AzBill; if he is ‘up there’ watching would appreciate a Wake.

    Hint: it may be best to hold such a celebration of Bill’s life at a Coffeehouse. 🙂

    Again; RIP, AzBill

  34. Bob Guenthner

    Please accept my apology for the emotion that came through in my earlier comments. I hope you can understand that Bill’s death and the circumstances surrounding it have been really upsetting to all of us in his family. What I meant to say and should have said more dispassionately is this:

    I feel really bad for Michael, Carla and all of the other employees of Bill’s businesses. They have unexpectedly been left in a tough situation. The efforts of those of you who are trying to find employment for them is great. No one in the family is in any position to carry on either Red Rock Foods or the Buzz. Contrary to what was previously reported, I was not involved in any way in setting up the new business. And none of Red Rock’s actual inventory will to my knowledge pass to the new business.

    That said, I wish Michael and his business partner much success in carrying on a business that continues service to Red Rock’s former customers.

    There will not be a memorial service for Bill in the Phoenix area. The family is planning a graveside service for Bill at a later date in Severy, Kansas, where Bill will be buried beside his mother, who died two years ago.

    Your idea of holding an Irish Wake for Bill is perfect. He would love it! I do hope that it comes about and that someone will post a description of it here.

    Your warm comments about cousin Bill are much appreciated by his family.

  35. Scott van Duyn

    I think Unlimited Coffee would be the Ideal place for Bill’s wake. It’s centraly located close to where Bill called his home. Has a very laid back atmosphere and it’s also where Bill got a few of his ideas for the Daily Buzz.

  36. We are on the opposite side of town, but do have barista positions open. Let me know…
    Unlimited Coffee sounds like a good location for the wake. Bill has always held it in high regard.

  37. I’m very sorry to hear about Bill’s death. I reported to Bill when he was VP of Operations for GlobalCenter, a webhosting company based in Sunnyvale. I last saw him in 2001 at a NANOG conference in Scottsdale, when he was working for iAsiaWorks. There are quite a few of us who know him from his technology work, and who are shocked and saddened by this news. My condolences to all who knew him.

  38. Dan

    I have been working for Bill for the last 5 months, helping him with the online venture and the blog he was planning to start. He was intelligent, light-hearted, and an overall nice guy. I already miss him.

    I like the idea of the Irish wake. You guys gotta fill me in on what you do at a wake (Although if the word Irish is in it I’m sure I get the idea)

  39. John Russo

    After too many years, Bill and I finally connected and spent several hours on the phone and exchanging email the week before this happened. I had interested him in possibly returning to his roots in the technology world by helping me with a data center project here in California. He sent me one last email on Friday May 2nd as I was heading out the door to take my 2nd grader camping with his class for the weekend.

    The message was about the coffee business and how we should talk more about it. I was rushing to get out the door, so my last words to him were ”


    Gotta bring my son on his second grade camping trip today.

    Let’s pick this up on Monday.


    My emails last week went unanswered, but I thought nothing of it – people get busy – I knew I had to give him a call and continue the discussion we had been having about data centers.

    He was clearly excited about the idea, as this sign off of a fairly lengthy technical discussion would indicate:
    …This is all good. Lots of brain cells that haven’t
    been touched in a while are coming back to life. I
    like it.



    And this one:

    Have thought of little else since our conversation.
    This is exciting.


    Or this one:

    GREAT catching up today. Very long overdue. The time
    I was at GeoNet was enormous fun but a huge learning

    Would be fun to be back in the Bay Area (I miss it
    terribly, …) and involved in some
    real technology again. I miss making the trains run
    on time–that always seemed to be my role.

    Once again, I enjoyed our conversation today very
    much. Talk soon.

    He seemed upbeat and excited. I was completely blown away when I learned today of the reason my emails last week went unanswered.

    All day I have been wandering around, wondering, was it something I said, or didn’t say…I am at a loss, this is such a colossal waste of talent not to mention the loss of a truly amiable and gentle man.

    I first met Bill when I recruited him to come and work for me as VP of Engineering at GeoNet Communications. When the Company was sold to Level 3 Bill and I stayed in touch and I followed him as he moved to Global Crossing and then to Iasiaworks.

    After that, I learned that he had moved to Arizona and I lost touch with him for a few years.

    About 2 years ago, I was looking at some data center property in Arizona, and tried to contact Bill. About 6 months ago, I was finally successful, and only last week heard his voice again for the first time in so many years. It was wonderful catching up with him again.
    I was really looking forward to reconnecting with Bill in person, either in Ca or AZ, and possibly working with him again on a new project.
    I just can’t believe this has happened.

    John Russo

  40. Interesting to hear from you guys that worked in the tech industry with Bill. He was usually quiet about that part of his life, presumably so he could remain focused on the AZ Coffee industry.

    Here are the details of the Irish Wake we’ll be having this Friday evening at 7:00PM at the Skeptical Chymist (it is a nice Irish Pub).

    15688 N PIMA ROAD Suite #C6,
    SCOTTSDALE, AZ. 85260.
    (480) 609 8677

    Web Site:

    Roughly located at Frank Loyd Wright and the 101 freeway.

    Regardless whether or not you’re Irish; dont drink alcohol: Whatever – they have coffee and tea also. It is a bit out of the way for many, I’m sure (including myself), but this seems to be a good place to pay our final respects to Bill. (Thanks to Oddley for scouting it out).

    Please either post here if you think you might be going, or PM me directly, or drop me a line at 623 217 1304 so that we can update the reservation head count if need be.

    Hope many of you can make it.

  41. Todd

    I visited this place for the first time this evening to see if it would be a proper place for an Irish Wake. The place seemed very nice and had a great, relaxing vibe. The food looked pretty good and the Guinness was excellent.

    The pub is nestled in a bunch of stores just off the 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright. It can be hard to find so I am going to swing by again tomorrow to get detailed directions to keep anyone from getting lost. It is located just next to Rubios across the parking lot from Best Buy and Staples. Better directions to come tomorrow.

    I look forward to seeing many of you on Friday to hoist the beverage of your choice to the memory of one of our own – Bill McCauley.

    If you have questions you can also contact me via PM, email, or at 480-200-5052.

  42. steve kessler

    Count me in. Thanks for getting this arranged.

  43. Joshua Morris

    Thanks for making this happen.

  44. David Holub

    I knew Bill pretty well. Mostly as a colleague and friend between 1996 and 2000. We’d have dinners at our favorite steak house and drink lot’s of martinis and great wines. In for the millennium he joined me an about 60 other friends in renting an entire castle in Spain, one of the most memorable parties of all time. In 2000 and 2001 we worked together at iAsiaWorks. We lost touch not long after its devolution and his move to Phoenix. This has made me very sad. I was really looking forward to reconnecting with him. I recently got his contact info from John Russo. Its very hard to digest this… I’m thinking we should do a parallel event in the Bay Area. I think he’d like that.

  45. Todd

    OK – I have more detailed directions for those who want them:

    101 to Frank Lloyd Wright
    West on Frank Lloyd Wright 1 block to Hayden
    Turn South on to Hayden (be in the left lane of the two left turning lanes)
    Left at your first driveway (.1 miles – between Great Outdoor Kitchens and Big City Bagels)
    Proceed through the first stop sign
    Turn left at the second stop sign
    Turn right at the first opportunity
    Skeptical Chymist is on the right beside Rubios

  46. Nik

    I knew Bill since his GeoNet days, and then worked with him at both GlobalCenter and iAsiaWorks.

    He was one of the few people you could never get angry at, who always managed to stay positive. I tried to stay in touch with him over the years. News comes as a shock.

    Condolences to his family and friends in Arizona.

  47. Jonathan Westbrook

    I am stunned. I just got the info from some GlobalCenter/iAsiaWorks veterans. I met Bill when I was interviewed by him to go work at GlobalCenter back in 1999. He was indeed a gentleman, in every sense of the word. If he got angry, he got over it and found the solution. We both wound up at iAsiaWorks, and kept in touch after iAsiaWorks cratered. Unfortunately, the last email traffic I had from him was in 2005, where he caught up with me while I was deployed in the Middle East.

    This is a sad, senseless loss. My condolences go out to the community there. I wish I could be at the Irish Wake, so please drink many for me.

    Bill, I will find something Irish and drink to your memory on Friday = a fine gentlemen, a focused businessman… and a good man.

    Godspeed my friend.

  48. I’ll be there on Friday, and Copper Star Coffee will be happy to pitch in $50.00 in honour of our departed friend.

  49. FYI – For anyone attending Bill’s Irish wake tonight, you can tell the hostess at the Skepical Chymist you’re with either the “Todd Wellfelt Party”, or just tell them you there for “Bill McCauley’s Irish Wake”, and they’ll know where to direct you. 7:00PM

  50. Thank you to all of you guys for coming to Bill’s wake last night. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many good friends Bill was able to keep close to him. I would have like to see Tingom there but I know that he was thinking about us. I hope he is having a good vacation. It was a great idea to bring Bill’s dog photo. I know that he would have enjoyed being there. Once again thanks to all of you.

  51. RIP Bill. I worked for Bill when he was the VP of Operations at Global Center. I kept in touch with him along with other of his direct reports throughout the year. Senseless loss of life.

    You will be missed.

    “Do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda
    Paul Benjes

  52. Nancy Durbin

    I am a cousin from Kansas and wanted to thank all of you
    for the wonderful comments you have made about Bill.
    Could any of you give me a time line of Bills work at Global Center , GeoNet & iAaia Works? We would like to include his work in our service here in Kansas.

  53. Nancy

    Our service for Bill will be June 14th, in Severy Kansas.
    He will be buried next to his mother and grandparents
    If anyone would like to send any comment to be used at the
    service fell free to send them to me. Thanks Nancy, cousin from Kansas

  54. Hi Nancy,
    Thanks for the information. Do you have an email address you could share with us? I think some folks might prefer to send comments directly to you rather than post them here.

  55. What a sad ending to a gifted, talented, entertaining friend. I went to Junior High with Bill and we were reacquainted in 1988 through our involvement with Young Life. Many times when he would come to Wichita to visit his mother, we would get together and he would entertain me with stories of the Livermore Lab, or Young Life’s Woodleaf Camp, or his baseball umpiring days….he loved throwing coaches out of the game…imagine that? I last saw him two years ago at his mother’s funeral…..wish I’d spent more time with him that day. I will miss you friend. Steve

  56. Steve, what was his involvement with Young Life? We had talked about it once when he noticed a hat i was wearing, but I never got his full story about it.

  57. I’m sad to hear the news, especially so late. Some of us who knew him in the late 80’s from the BBS scene in California have just found out about his passing. We have many memories of his jolly nature and presence at our BBS social gatherings, and he will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Big Brother.

  58. Jason Peterson

    I met Bill through BBSing and The Records Department. We hung out a lot around that time. When I graduated Bill gave me a faster modem to call into the board with as a gift. ; ) He was generous, intelligent and had so many interests.

    When I look back on my life and where it has taken me, I have to thank Bill for a lot of it. He taught me a great deal. To this day, I yearn for my BBS days and after this news more specifically Bill and The Records Department.

    This is truly sad. I miss you Bill. Thanks for everything.

    Jason Peterson

  59. Myke Folkes

    I too knew Bill McCauley from the BBS days… I first met him when I was 10! I was the Macintosh section co-sysop at one point on The Records Department…

    …I was actually the inspiration for a TBBS feature: Local terminal locking. 😉

    Bill gave me a tour of the TBBS and showed me everything it could do…

    R.I.P. Bill…