Louisville Distilled Spirits Epicenter
Louisville Distilled Spirits Epicenter

During an award ceremony at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Small Business Administration named David Dafoe, CEO of Flavorman, third runner-up in the Association’s Person of the Year awards.

Flavorman, located just south of downtown Louisville on Eighth Street, is one of the largest full-service beverage development facilities in the United States. Beverage makers come to Flavorman looking to develop new flavors for their drinks — everything from sparkling waters to sports drinks to booze. The company has even developed beverages for pets and other animals.

Dafoe is formerly of Brown-Forman; while he was with that company, he helped develop the Jack Daniel’s Cocktails line. He formed Pro-Liquitech International in 1992, which later became Flavorman. When he first broke off and started Flavorman, his two first clients were Chiquita and Jones Soda.

In 2012, Dafoe opened Distilled Spirits Epicenter, collocated with Flavorman. The business teaches expert classes on distilling for the growing boutique home and craft distillers out there.

“You don’t get to this point in a company without the best people working beside you,” said Dafoe. “And in Flavorman’s case, it couldn’t be more true.”

Flavorman also was GLI’s small business of the year in 2013.

The Person(s) of the Year award went to Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell, co-founders of San Rafael, Calif.-based Equator Coffees & Teas. Their wholesale company has garnered many awards for fairness and sustainability over its 20 years.

SBA awards are given out during Small Business Week. For more than 50 years, the SBA has recognized the achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions in their local communities and to the economy. Businesses are either self-nominated or nominated by a community member. There were 54 people nominated in Dafoe’s category.

Other awards presented at the ceremony include:

  • Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
  • Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery
  • Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
  • Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award
  • Federal Procurement Award- Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence
  • 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award
  • Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award
  • Veterans Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
  • Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
  • Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year
  • Small Business Investment Company of the Year
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