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Sweet Success, with Help from the SBA

Robyn Stuart

Description: Founded in 2008, DB Bourbon Candy, LLC offers many different flavors of bourbon filled candy, liqueur filled truffles, chocolate-covered fruit, a dessert bar for special events and gift baskets. The business specializes in bourbon balls, a recipe created by CEO Robyn Stuart’s mother, Johnnye S.Cunningham.

In its short life, DB Bourbon Candy has enjoyed tremendous success, placing product at high profile events such as the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, the Breeder’s Cup, a U.S. Presidential Inauguration and numerous other events. DB Bourbon Candy is also the official candy of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a 6-week series of events leading up to the running of the Kentucky Derby each May.

DB Bourdon Candy is a women owned, veteran owned and minority owned business. Product has also been placed in Kroger and Liquor Barn stores in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the U.S. 

SBA Assistance:  Robyn Stuart has received small business consulting assistance from both the Bluegrass SBDC office and the Women’s Business Center of Kentucky offices in Lexington. Her SBDC counselor helped Ms. Stuart set up her accounting system for the business and manage her rapid growth. The WBC assisted Robyn Stuart with obtaining an SBA microloan that was used to increase production for a contract that DB Bourbon Candy had acquired with Kroger, one of the largest grocery chains in the U.S.  In 2017, the company plans to add a brick and mortar location to augment online sales.

Number of employees: 1         

Response to adversity or problems: DB Bourbon Candy has enjoyed tremendous success, but like most small businesses, there were many challenges. Until recently, Robyn Stuart had continued to work her “day job” at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant in nearby Georgetown, KY, where she has worked for 18 years. Recently, Ms. Stuart left that position at Toyota so that she could focus 100% of her time to the business.

Ms. Stuart worked with the Women’s Business Center of Kentucky to obtain an SBA microloan for her business. DB Bourbon Candy has also begun advertising through iHeart Radio to increase brand awareness and sales.

Community Involvement: Robyn Stuart believes that she has been blessed, and she believes in giving back. DB Bourbon Candy supports the Breast Cancer Awareness program. Ms. Stuart is President of the Kentucky Chapter of Women Veterans Rock, a coalition of Women Veteran Organizations and Women Advocacy Organizations supporting women veterans and military families. She also supports the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Frankfort, KY