SBA Kentucky District Office Announces Flavorman as SBA Legacy Business

Flavorman named one of 68 businesses recognized nationally as part of SBA’s 70th anniversary celebration

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2023) – The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced Flavorman, an industry-leading custom beverage development company, as an SBA Legacy Business. Flavorman is one of 68 Legacy Businesses that got their start with help from the SBA and that are being recognized nationwide as part of the agency’s 70th-anniversary celebration.

Flavorman was recognized on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, during a ceremony on-site at its headquarters in Louisville, Ky., where Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Congressman Morgan McGarvey (KY-03) toured Flavorman’s state-of-the-art 27,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, along with the adjacent Moonshine University to meet with students and program leaders. The tour also included a look at Flavorman’s new Technical Center, a 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art lab facility for Flavorman’s beverage and flavor labs. The visit followed an “Investing in America” roundtable event featuring Louisville small business owners and members of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In regard to the Legacy Business designation, Legacy SBA Kentucky District Director Robert Coffey stated, “Since the inception of the SBA, many Kentucky businesses have benefited from the various programs and services of the agency. To select one business for this celebration was no easy task because, in their own way, every business that has utilized these programs and services is worthy of recognition. In Flavorman, we landed on a business that has grown and thrived due to the true entrepreneurial nature of its founder – David Dafoe.  As one who appreciates the risk of starting a business, he provides valuable insight to those who entrust Flavorman with their vision of creating a beverage as the foundation of their business.”

Dafoe began his career as a Chemical Technician and Beverage Alcohol Applications Specialist at Fries & Fries (now Givaudan) in Cincinnati, OH. He later joined spirits giant Brown-Forman in Louisville, KY, and quickly earned a reputation for developing new, unique alcoholic beverages.

In 1992, with a handful of credit cards and using his residential condo as the office, Dafoe started Pro-Liquitech, a beverage development consulting company that evolved into the international custom beverage development company known today as Flavorman.

There were many changes along the way, and Flavorman has experienced ups and downs. This includes expansions in 2005, 2012 and 2022, as well as a massive flood in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-21. Through both growth and disaster recovery, SBA and its loan programs have assisted Flavorman every step of the way.

“Flavorman could be described as a “poster child” for participating in SBA Programs; Flavorman originally tapped the SBA 7(a) Loan Program to buy the building for its current operations, took advantage of an SBA Program named the Financial Stability Plan (part of the 7(a) Program) during the Obama Administration, sent several company leaders to the THRIVE Program and most recently qualified for the PPP Loan Program,” said David Dafoe, CEO, Flavorman. “For more than 17 years, SBA resources have provided financing, training and financial confidence to support our growth and we could not be more proud to be recognized as an SBA Legacy Business.”

For more than 30 years, Flavorman has worked with entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations, creating over 80,000 original beverage formulations. A few notable clients include Chiquita Brands, Ocean Spray, Kellogg’s, and Jones Soda. Today, Flavorman has 66 team members, and its operations encompass an entire city block.

Dafoe and Flavorman have been recognized numerous times by the SBA Kentucky District Office. The company was named both the 2023 and the 2016 Small Business of the Year for Kentucky – the only two-time winner in the state.

The SBA’s Legacy Celebration recognizes past or current small businesses that benefitted from SBA resources in their early stages. For 70 years, America’s entrepreneurs have relied on SBA support to help start and grow their small businesses.

Today, the SBA is building upon its success. The agency has provided billions of dollars in support to small businesses, assisted millions of small business owners in building meaningful, lifelong connections and helped entrepreneurs power local economies.


Founded by David Dafoe in 1992, Flavorman is an industry-leading custom beverage development company based out of Louisville, KY. “The Beverage Architects” ™ create custom-made ingredients and flavors for each individual client. For over 30 years, Flavorman has led the beverage industry as the single-source partner in beverage architecture and product development. Flavorman’s clients range from start-up entrepreneurs to major international players in the global marketplace. Flavorman’s headquarters houses one of the largest full-service beverage product development facilities in the United States including a state-of-the-art, fully equipped flavor laboratory, ingredient laboratory, warehouse, and production area. These facilities will be increased by 40,000 square feet of additional space by the end of 2023. Flavorman’s in-house capabilities, industry expertise and product innovation allow Flavorman to offer its clients a wide range of expert services in order to turn their great ideas into a money-making beverage. Visit


Moonshine University is the world’s premier spirits education destination. With a range of courses covering all areas of the distilled spirits industry, Moonshine University has launched over 189 distilleries and helped to educate and train professionals from countless others. Visit


The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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