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01/21/2022

Flavorman celebrates 30 years, details expansion

The beverage development company was founded in 1992 and continues to grow to meet private label needs.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Flavorman lab 1990s

Flavorman, the Louisville-based beverage development company that works with name brands and private label, is celebrating a major milestone: 30 years in the beverage industry.

The company recently released its annual “drink of the year,” a humorous flavor creation meant to embody the past year. Flavorman has created flavors for large brands like Ocean Spray, Kellogg and Jones Soda.

“We’ve come a long way from where we first started, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team of experts we have in place and the work we’ve done over the years,” said David Dafoe, CEO and Founder of Flavorman. “We have worked with hundreds of well-known and up-and-coming brands to help build new flavors and beverages to offer to consumers. We saw the need for technical innovation in the beverage industry, jumped in, and haven’t looked back, and I’m looking forward to another 30 years of working with clients to create trendsetting flavors and innovative beverages.” 

Flavorman was founded in January 1992 by Dafoe, who got his start as a lab assistant at a Cincinnati-based flavor company, then as manager of flavor development at Brown-Forman, where he developed some of the global spirits giant’s biggest new brands. He left Brown Forman and branched out on his own to start Flavorman to help assist beverage clients in creating new flavors.

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Moonshine University

Located at 809 South 8th Street in Louisville, Ky., Flavorman is currently expanding its 24,000-square-foot facility, which will bring 30 new jobs to the area and potentially attract global businesses to the area. The addition will cover 27,000 square feet and connect to the company’s main laboratory. Once complete, it will boost production capacity, expanding Flavorman’s blending, bottling/canning, processing and bulk storage operations.

The $8.5 million expansion, set to be complete in the fall of 2022, is the latest in a series of developments in the last several years as the company continues to experience exponential growth – 28 of its 59 employees were hired in the last two years. In 2006, Flavorman rehabbed the existing building, and a few years later, purchased a neighboring building to create an educational distillery, Moonshine University.

Together, Flavorman and Moonshine University make up a “Beverage Campus” that houses a fully equipped educational distillery, state-of-the-art classroom, production facility with a custom bottling line, extensive sensory library and a beverage innovation laboratory. Flavorman has developed more than 74,000 beverage formulations for brands worldwide, while Moonshine University has hosted hands-on classes for students from all 50 states and 44 countries, with attendees opening over 186 distilleries.

“We joke that we started Moonshine University when Flavorman was 21-years-old and of legal age,” said Dafoe. “It has been a great investment for us and allows us to offer distillers, or even newbies, the opportunity to learn more about how to own and operate their own distillery. We’re helping so many people learn about the art of distilling, and believe we are truly leaving an impression on the bourbon and beverage industries."