Foster MBA grad expands the horizons for bacon

Just as oranges in the 1970’s ad campaign became “not just for breakfast anymore,” a recent Foster School grad has given bacon (or at least bacon flavor) a post-morning rise in popularity as a vital ingredient in libations ranging from Bloody Marys to chocolate martinis.

Sven Liden was back at the UW for the 2009 MBA Reunion Weekend on Sept. 11 and 12 when he discussed how he transformed bacon from eggs’ traditional sidekick to Bakon Vodka.

The Foster grad’s new brand of vodka hit the market earlier this year and sales are sizzling.  Mentions from CNN to Details magazine have driven demand for bottles of Bakon as fast as Liden and his partners can produce them.

So is Liden “that guy” everyone in college tabbed as going into the spirits business?  Well…yes and no.

Returning to Balmer Hall along with 50 of his classmates for their five-year reunion, Sven’s development of Bakon surprised no one.  Along with being known as the life of the party by more than a few classmates, Sven was also remembered as the electrical engineer who worked for Sprint, Nortel and AT&T Wireless before piloting start-up TeachTown, maker of software to assist children with Autism and language disorders.

Following a standing-room-only afternoon of professional development in Boeing Auditorium – including presentations from former Starbucks President Howard Behar on culture, Gates Foundation President of U.S. Allan Golston on k-12 education, and molecular biologist John Medina comparing the brains of 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace to that of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards – Liden held court at his class’s gathering later that evening at The District Lounge.

Showing his true Foster MBA colors, Liden explained Bakon’s surprisingly complex route through production and shipping, licensing and gaining access to new markets.  Of course there were more than a few taste tests conducted…an activity Liden’s class – along with other returning reunion participants from ’99, ’94, ’89 and ’84 – took up again at the Foster School tailgate on Lake Washington prior to the Huskies victory over Idaho.

Maybe it’s not just for breakfast, but plenty of people enjoyed Bakon (in moderation, of course) that sunny morning…courtesy of Sven.  We can’t wait to see what Liden cooks up by his 10-year reunion!

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