Woman starts sweet treat business to support family during unemployment

Louisville grandmother spreading her 'joy' during unemployment


When Kim Howe first founded her homemade treats business, Bourbon Joys, it was a fun way to supplement her income from her day job at a local dentist's office.

But when the pandemic began, Kim, also known as Mama Howe, lost her job of 46 years. So, she turned to Bourbon Joys to make ends meet.

"It has been, this sounds weird, such a joy," said Howe, the owner/founder of Bourbon Joys.

She began selling her treats to her local community that her family had always enjoyed.

"Between here and there that's where the magic takes place," Howe said.

When the dental office that Kim used to work at reopened she was faced with a tough decision.

She could return to her old job and risk catching COVID-19 or wait to return to the office when a vaccine was available.

For Howe, it was an easy decision especially when she considered her husband's health.

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

Thankfully for Mama Howe, making Bourbon Joys a full-time gig was an immediate success.

"By the end of December we had sold 10 thousand and we didn't start until Nov. 9," Howe said.

She calls her most famous treat a joy, and that's also where her company gets its name.

"Because my daughters have always said on a level of one to ten, my joy level is a fifteen," Howe said.

Spreading joy in tough times is something Mama Howe hopes her treats can do for others.

"I just want to spread a little joy in a time when we haven't been able to find a lot of joy. I hope with the help of everybody in the community this can be my business that can get Butch and I through the next 20, 30 years of our life," Howe said.

For more information on Kim Howe's treat business, click here