Asteroid (1726) Hoffmeister is the lowest--numbered and probably the largest member of a small, very compact dynamical family. Up to now, the only physical information available on this family consisted of the comparatively low IRAS albedos of Hoffmeister and two other family members. After discussing the properties of the family, we report on our own observations of the optical reflectance spectrum of Hoffmeister, carried out with the 1.54~m telescope of the Bologna Observatory and a CCD spectrograph. The spectrum has been found to be flat and featureless over the whole wavelength range between about 5200 and 9000 {\AA}, resembling those of asteroids belonging to the C and F taxonomic types. This result supports the hypothesis that the family was generated in the break--up of a carbon--rich parent asteroid $\sim 50$ to $100$~km in diameter, and that it is compositionally distinct from (and genetically unrelated to) some neighbouring groupings in proper element space.