Flavorman is an international custom product development and ingredient supply company. Known as The Beverage Architects®, Flavorman is able to take a beverage concept through every phase of product development and production, from start through finish, and has developed and designed over 500 products for hundreds of companies to successfully launch in the beverage marketplace. The beverages range from energy drinks and sodas to flavored spirits and liqueurs.
Since 1992, Flavorman has been leading the industry as a single source partner in beverage product development. Clients range from start-up entrepreneurs to major international players in the global beverage market. Their 24,000 square-foot headquarters houses one of the largest full-service beverage product development facilities in the United States, including a state-of-the-art, fully equipped laboratory, warehouse and production area. In-house capabilities, industry expertise and product innovation allow Flavorman to offer its clients a wide range of expert services in order to turn a great idea into revenue.
Formerly known as Pro-Liquitech, Flavorman develops products for every category in the beverage industry. The lab work, formulation, R & D, blending, shelf life testing, FDA review and quality control is all done within its facility. All samples are shipped directly from the lab, and the company works closely with clients and colleagues in the industry to manage costs and facilitate packaging and production schedules. Clients retain sole ownership of their formulation, as Flavorman has no equity position in the products that the company develops. This business model allows the company to service clients with the energy and confidentiality those clients require, without conflicting interests.
Founded in 1992 by Dave Dafoe, who had worked at Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the largest American-owned companies in the wine and spirits business, Flavorman’s first customer was Chiquita Brands and its line of fruit juices. In the mid-1990s, the Jones Soda Company had Flavorman develop their 10 original soda flavors. From there the client list grew, and to date, the company has created thousands of products, hundreds of brands, allowing hundreds of companies to achieve success in the beverage markets.
Flavorman secured two small SBA 7(a) loans in the 1990s to expand its business, and both loans have been paid in full. In 2007, the company obtained an SBA 504 loan to move from an east end industrial park to 809 South 8th Street near downtown Louisville in a HUBZone. Since that time, the company has seen a revitalization of the area, with other businesses moving to or expanding their businesses in this HUBZone area. Also, in 2010, Flavorman received an SBA ARRA loan from a local credit union.
Recently, Flavorman management acquired a former automobile garage next to its building. Named the Distilled Spirits Epicenter, this sister company will offer support to artisan distilleries, which have expanded from 143 facilities in 2006 to over 700 facilities across the country today. Grease Monkey Distillery, Moonshine University and Challenge Bottling all operate under The Epicenter, offering state-of-the-art distilled spirits equipment, expert-led classes and onsite bottling services.
“For the last 20 years we have developed every type of beverage in every beverage category for our clients to sell in the US and international markets”, says Dafoe. “It seemed intuitive to extend this knowledge and experience to the burgeoning craft distilling movement percolating in our backyard. We have the skills to put entrepreneurs into this beverage segment with our product and process development expertise while assisting large established companies through work with our pilot facilities. We are perfectly positioned to become the Epicenter for distilled spirits with centralized resources and knowledge for this beverage segment.”
During his first visit to the state of Kentucky, Cassius Butts, SBA Region IV Administrator from Atlanta, paid a visit to Flavorman. Cassius Butts said, “Flavorman is a great example of an innovative, small U.S. manufacturer that competes world-wide and creates new jobs.”
Leaders at Flavorman attribute their success to their team. The technical staff consists of flavor development specialists, flavor application specialists, flavor technicians, product development specialists, operations managers, lab technicians, and other experts, all of whom help bring innovative new beverages to market. The management team offers years of beverage industry, business, legal, international and entrepreneurial experience.
The Flavorman team also enjoys giving back to the community in which they work. Some of the organizations its employees support include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, StageOne Family Theatre, Junior League of Louisville, Kentucky Rescue Association, Louisville Hunger Walk, Louisville MS Center, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Miami University Alumni Association and Jefferson County Public Schools. Also, Flavorman partnered with the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to build an urban rain garden on its property to help with stormwater runoff. Rain gardens help capture water runoff, which can contain oil-based products, chemicals and toxic substances, before it reaches the drainage system. This rain garden improves water quality and offers an attractive setting in front of the Flavorman buildings.
Patriot Industries, Inc. is located in the cities of Monticello and Albany, two very rural communities in southern Kentucky. Monticello is located in Wayne County. Albany is located in Clinton County, which was recognized as an Empowerment Zone in 1996. Empowerment zones are designated to stimulate growth and economic development in poor, rural, underdeveloped communities across the country.
Patriot Industries offers four primary services: cutting and sewing, screen printing, manufacturing and warehousing. The company has used several SBA programs to help establish and grow the company. Jack Mills, President & CEO of Patriot Industries, realized that with the trend to ship operations offshore in the cut and sew industry, he would have to use all of the advantages of small business programs offered by SBA in order to retain and increase American jobs at American factories such as Patriot Industries.
The company was 8(a) certified in December 2000 and received its Small Disadvantaged Business certification at the same time. Patriot Industries received HUBZone certification in August 2001. Using these resources, the firm has won multiple contracts in 8(a), SBD, HUBZone and subcontracting opportunities. The company has grown from under 100 employees in 2000 to approximately 350 employees today.
Patriot Industries’ main manufacturing expertise is in the cutting and sewing of military products. Their labor force is experienced in sewing all weights and types of materials. Additionally, their screen printing capabilities use modern, high capacity equipment.
Patriot Industries is currently the major subcontractor for a government prime contractor. Patriot employees manufacture components for the Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment system and the company has manufactured over five million components. Patriot is currently gearing up to manufacture the Improved Outer Tactical Vest.
Patriot also manufactures fire retardant clothing as a subcontractor. Additionally, they have manufactured, as the prime contractor, a fire retardant coverall for the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia, PA, and athletic shorts and jerseys for the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The company’s success is derived from its strong leadership and dedicated team at Patriot Industries. In fact, the firm’s business philosophy is summed in into three key statements.
- Quality - Engineered and manufactured into the products
- On Time - Our team members know that late shipments mean unhappy customers.
- Value - We realize that cost effective manufacturing is essential to obtaining and keeping customers.
Additionally, Patriot is ISO 9001:2008 certified. In 2011, Patriot Industries was recognized as an SBA 100 company. The SBA 100 program features 100 businesses that have created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance.
J.C. Egnew saw a need and a great opportunity when he co-founded Outdoor Venture in 1972 in Stearns, Kentucky. Stearns, located in McCreary County, is one of the poorest counties in the United States. About 65% of the land in the county is owned by the United States Government, leaving very little property and land available to develop industrially or agriculturally or for the community to grow economically. As the founder of a startup company in a community with no manufacturing history, Egnew was successful in building a capable management team, using primarily local residents, and that management team was able to manufacture a new product, find and sell new customers and run the overall business activities.
J.C. Egnew, a former NASA rocket test engineer in the Apollo Program, currently serves as Chairman and President of Outdoor Venture Corporation. J.C. Egnew is responsible for the startup of 4 manufacturing facilities and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs in this area.
Outdoor Venture has used the SBA programs and services to help build a very successful business. Outdoor Venture grew from 25 employees by the end of its first year to over 180 employees today. The company received an SBA loan of $140,000 in 1976 to build a manufacturing facility; the loan was paid in full in 1996. The company is HUBZone certified and has had success bidding and winning HUBZone set-aside contracts as well as other unrestricted contracts.
Since 1972, Outdoor Venture, along with its subsidiaries, has manufactured and supplied a wide range of products, including tents, both commercial (family and recreational) and military, sleeping bags, and hunting products. The company was also one of the first suppliers of automotive air bags in the United States. That business was started in 1988 and sold in 1992.
Today, Outdoor Venture remains both a prime supplier and subcontractor of military tent systems, components and accessories for the United States Department of Defense. In addition to the company's extensive experience as a military tentage supplier, the company's management team successfully started an automotive air bag manufacturing business in 1988 and successfully grew it to a $25 million dollar business before selling the company in 1992. Outdoor Venture's air bag manufacturing business employed 175 persons and produced 25,000 air bags per week. Outdoor Venture's experience as an air bag manufacturer required high-speed precision cutting and sewing of high quality, zero-defect products.
Since 1984, Outdoor Venture delivered more than $260 million dollars worth of military tents on over 140 government contracts. They have received numerous awards for their innovative design changes resulting in thousands of dollars of savings to the United States military tent procurement program.
In May 2004, Outdoor Venture was awarded the Fiscal Year 2003 Contractor Outstanding Value Engineering Achievement Award from the Department of Defense / Defense Logistics Agency at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. for substantial savings in Value Engineering to the U.S. Government.
In addition to being a prime military tent supplier, Outdoor Venture "teams" with other Department of Defense suppliers to offer subcontract manufacturing services. Outdoor Venture's main headquarters is located in a new facility in Stearns, KY. The 55,000 square foot facility was completed in September 2009 and houses the majority of their administrative activities. They also have an 110,000 square foot facility in Pine Knot, Kentucky, only 6 miles from the Stearns facility. The majority of their manufacturing, warehousing and shipping is done from these two facilities. Also, Outdoor Venture has an affiliate company, Shelter-Pro, LLC which was founded in 1992. That company produces and sells Underbrush® hunting apparel to some of the country’s leading retail chains and sporting goods catalogs, such as Walmart, Academy Sports+Outdoors, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s.
In 2011, Outdoor Venture was recognized as an SBA 100 company. The SBA 100 program recognized 100 companies across that U.S. that had created at least 100 jobs. The company also was recognized as the SBA Kentucky Small Business of the Year. Mr. Egnew, leader of Outdoor Venture since its inception, also served as Director on the Board of the HUBZone Contractors National Council since its foundation about 10 years ago.
Outdoor Venture Corporation, a prime modular military tent manufacturer and supplier to the United States Department of Defense (DOD) since 1984, is an ISO Q9001-2008 Compliant, HUBZone Certified Small Business. Mr. Egnew stated that the firm continues to seek opportunities to leverage its management team’s skills and diverse experience as the low cost manufacturer in the U.S.