David Dafoe’s beverage development company, Flavorman, has been named the winner of Interise’s 2019 Best Place to Work Award. The award recognizes alumni of the StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum who are creating an exceptional work environment and are committed to the growth of their employees.

The Beverage Architects

Flavorman, a beverage development distillery in Louisville and winner of Interise’s 2019 Best Place to Work Award, has been in operation since 1992. The company engineers flavors for a wide range of clients, from entrepreneurs who need help transforming simple kitchen recipes into products that are fit for the market, to well-known companies like Kellogg’s and Ocean Spray. “We help entrepreneurs who would’ve never been able to get into the business to get into the marketplace” David Dafoe, the company’s founder says. “We can provide to them every solution up until the point it gets on the shelf— the packaging, the development, the creation— basically everything.” Dafoe works with a team of beverage architects and scientists to create a streamlined process that enables clients to focus only on marketing their products. 

Flavorman has cultivated a professional environment that encourages employees to seek out the knowledge that’ll enable to them to do their work well. So in 2018, when Dafoe felt it was time to start thinking about expanding their services into international markets, he encouraged Matthew Madden, the company’s “Relationship Architect,” to take the SBA Emerging Leaders class in Louisville. The StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum, which leverages the experiences of business owners from different entrepreneurial backgroundsin the classroom, was according to Dafoe, an indispensable part of the process of thinking strategically about expanding the company’s footprint into the international beverage market. “We were getting a lot of international inquiries and we didn’t know what to do with them. So what Matt learned in the Interise class has been a tremendous help in getting us to turn those inquiries into business opportunities.” he says.

For gestures like this— encouraging an employee to become a part of Interise’s network of business owners, Dafoe and his team of beverage architects are being recognized with the Best Place to Work Award. Central to Flavorman’s promotion of an engaging work culture is Dafoe’s dream of creating a company that “doesn’t just care about making money.” As such, employees at Flavorman are encouraged to take Volunteer Time Off, and to participate in immersive professional development and community impact programs such as Leadership Louisville a 10 month long program for leaders who are committed to the area’s economic growth and success. 

The Best Place to Work award, which is designed to celebrate alumni of the StreetWise ‘MBA’™curriculum who are prioritizing the creation of an exceptional work environment, seems a fitting accolade for the work that Dafoe is doing to enrich the professional and personal lives of his employees. We hope that this network of beverage architects continues to thrive in light of this recognition.