Louisville woman starts sweet treat business, Bourbon Joys, to support family during unemployment

Eufemia Didonato

When life gives you hardships, make bourbon balls — that was the motto for one Louisville woman when she lost her job during the pandemic.Kim Howe, a mother of three and grandma to five, started Bourbon Joys in November 2019. She’s also known as “Mama Howe.”She’s been whipping up her famous bourbon balls, buckeyes and rice crispy treats to sell online to make ends meet.Howe worked at a local dentist office that closed amid the pandemic.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 husband who is disabled.Considering Butch Howe’s medical conditions — diabetes, lung and heart disease — the Howes made the difficult assessment that returning was too much of a risk.”Every year he gets pneumonia during the wintertime and has to go to the hospital,” said Howe. “We thought, we can’t let him get this, we truly thought if he got this then he would die.”So Howe stayed home and continuously makes sweet treats she calls “joys,” which is only part of where the name Bourbon Joys come from.”My daughters have always said on a level of one to ten, my joy level is a fifteen,” said Howe.Her home has turned into a candy-making workshop, packaging warehouse and she even makes local deliveries in her own car.”I just want to spread a little joy in a time when we haven’t been able to find a lot of joy,” Howe said.You can order treats online for now, but Howe hopes to one day see her bourbon joys on shelves of local shops. Local deliveries are made on Tuesdays and Thursdays.Pick up is available every Saturday in the Our Lady of Lourdes parking lot from 10 a.m. to noon.For more information, click here.

When life gives you hardships, make bourbon balls — that was the motto for one Louisville woman when she lost her job during the pandemic.

Kim Howe, a mother of three and grandma to five, started Bourbon Joys in November 2019. She’s also known as “Mama Howe.”

She’s been whipping up her famous bourbon balls, buckeyes and rice crispy treats to sell online to make ends meet.

Howe worked at a local dentist office that closed amid the pandemic.

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 husband who is disabled.

Considering Butch Howe’s medical conditions — diabetes, lung and heart disease — the Howes made the difficult assessment that returning was too much of a risk.

“Every year he gets pneumonia during the wintertime and has to go to the hospital,” said Howe. “We thought, we can’t let him get this, we truly thought if he got this then he would die.”

So Howe stayed home and continuously makes sweet treats she calls “joys,” which is only part of where the name Bourbon Joys come from.

“My daughters have always said on a level of one to ten, my joy level is a fifteen,” said Howe.

Her home has turned into a candy-making workshop, packaging warehouse and she even makes local deliveries in her own car.

“I just want to spread a little joy in a time when we haven’t been able to find a lot of joy,” Howe said.

You can order treats online for now, but Howe hopes to one day see her bourbon joys on shelves of local shops.

Local deliveries are made on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pick up is available every Saturday in the Our Lady of Lourdes parking lot from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more information, click here.

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