David Dafoe

“What flavor is your business? What color is it? What attributes does it have?” This is the question that sparked a new business opportunity for Flavorman, a Louisville-based beverage maker. Their new experiential offering gets executives and employees thinking critically about their business by turning their thoughts into a drink.

Flavorman recently started to offer a team-building exercise that calls for a business’s employees to work collaboratively to create a unique beverage recipe — their company’s flavor.

The idea is that the color, type of drink, etc., reflects aspects of the business, said David Dafoe, owner of Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter LLC.

The exercise is designed to get employees’ and employers’ creative juices flowing.

“You really start thinking about what is this company all about, what do we do,” Dafoe said.

The business-as-a-beverage experience grew out of a request for Dafoe to speak at a company-wide meeting of Vynamic, a Philadelphia-based health care management consulting firm. The company’s CEO, Dan Calista, had met Dafoe at a trade show and later asked him to craft a drink especially for the event.

What resulted was an exercise in distilling how Vynamic works and what attributes best characterize it.

At the end of the event, Vynamic’s employees had settled on a clear, naturally sweetened Vitamin Water-type drink with hints of mint and lemon.

With that direction, Dafoe headed back to Flavorman’s lab and, a week later, shipped 300 bottles of the drink to Philadelphia.

From the descriptions compiled from the group exercise, Flavorman creates a drink for those involved to enjoy.

For Vynamic, Dafoe had only 90 minutes, but he said such an event could fill a half day or even a full day.

“We were really pushing it, but it did create a lot of energy”

Going forward, Dafoe said he will refine his presentation for the business opportunity.

“When we did it the first time, we really did it on the fly. We kind of came up with how we were going to do it when we got there,” he said, adding that he wasn’t even sure what type of space he would have to work with the first go-round.

The exercise could be offered as a class that lasts a few hours or full-day seminar, depending on what the customer wants, Dafoe said.

Dafoe estimated the cost range to be between $2,500 and $21,000.

The details would dictate the price — not only how long the event is but also the cost of travel and how much of the drink Flavorman makes.

The new beverage-creation experience is expected to build word-of-mouth business and expose Flavorman to a wider audience, Dafoe said.

“We do very little marketing and self-promotion other than what we do on the website, and it (the new beverage offering) really brings a new awareness to our company,” he said.

“They can say, oh, they know about this company in Louisville, Ky., and this is what they do.”

This new business opportunity has the potential to generate additional revenue for the $6-million-a-year business as well as draw people’s attention to classes at Flavorman’s sister company, Moonshine University.

Dafoe said he already expects to see “a nice pop” in its 2013 numbers because of its Moonshine University that started last year.

Moonshine University offers a variety of courses related to liquor appreciation and making. It is part of Flavorman’s Distilled Spirits Epicenter, which opened in 2012.

A version of this story was authored by Caitlin Bowling and originally published to Louisville Business First.

When you’re ready to talk about your beverage idea, give us a call at (502) 273-5214 or get started by telling us your story here. To learn more about Flavorman, see our process.

 

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Written on February 11, 2014.