Louisville Grandmother Starts Sweet Treats Company, Bourbon Joys

February 10, 2021

Kim Howe, AKA “Mama Howe”, is notorious for finding the joy in every moment. “On a scale of one to ten, Mama Howe’s joy level is a fifteen”, notes Carmyn Wethington, the second of Kim Howe’s three daughters. But when the pandemic hit in April, causing 65-year old “Mama Howe” to lose her dentistry job of 46 years, joy was tough to find. When her office was able to open its doors again, the 65-year old dental assistant was faced with the impossible decision of returning to a profession deemed to be at the highest risk for contracting COVID-19 or not receiving the single paycheck that she used to support her and her disabled husband.

Considering Butch Howe’s medical conditions—diabetes, lung and heart disease—the Howes made the difficult assessment that Kim Howe’s return to the office was not an option until a vaccine was available. “Sometimes you just have to know that you’re making the right choice and trust that God will take care of the rest.”, says Kim Howe.

Unemployment benefits were a saving grace for the struggling family, but when the stimulus package ran out, the worry set in. “Our medical bills are over five hundred dollars a month, alone”, says Howe “I got tired of sitting around. I knew there had to be a safe way to support my family.”

Joined by her three daughters, Devin Malone (34), Carmyn Wethington (30), and Kelly Howe (23), the Howes created a sweet treats company called “Bourbon Joys” to sell Mama Howe’s famous bourbon balls, buckeyes, rice krispie treats and more to local residents. Bourbon Joys launched in November 2020 and sold over 10,000 sweet treats in the first two months!

Not only are these chocolates beloved by family and friends, but Mama Howe’s sweet treats are also notorious in break rooms of the many doctor’s offices the Howes visit for Butch Howe’s continued care. “We will barely be in the door before the front desk starts screaming that Mama Howe’s treats are here. We’ll see doctors, nurses, and staff alike running to receive them first!”

Dr. Rod Rallo of Vision First agrees, “Kim Howe’s bourbon balls are the best I’ve ever tasted. When we were planning my daughter’s wedding, I knew we wanted to treat guests to this Kentucky delicacy. I asked Kim if she would be willing to make 500 for us and they were an absolute hit!”

Mama Howe’s moment of clarity came when she was watching Governor Beshear’s daily briefing. “He acknowledged the dark place that our community is in right now, but added that the resolve and resiliency of individual Kentuckians would be the light that enables our state to prevail. That’s all that I needed to hear.”

Mama Howe’s sweet treats, called “joys”, can be ordered online at Local pick-up and delivery options are available.

Mama Howe is still accepting orders for Valentine’s Day—including orders for the new, Monthly Bourbon Joys Club. The Monthly Bourbon Joys Club is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift that keeps on giving. For the low, one-time cost of $59, Mama Howe will deliver your Bourbon Joys on Valentine’s Day and the first Thursday of every month of an entire year! Find her on Facebook at!

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