From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

DB Bourbon Candy, LLC
[Robyn C. Stuart and Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham]

DB Bourbon Candy, LLC is a successful home business located in Frankfort, KY. While there are many candy companies and makers of bourbon balls in Kentucky, DB Bourbon Candy is believed to be the only African American owned company of its kind in the state. The owner is Robyn C. Stuart, daughter of the late Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham.

The company's original candy recipe belonged to Johnnye Cunningham, who would make bourbon balls during the holidays for family and friends. The bourbon balls were rolled in powered sugar. Cunningham passed away in 2002, and her daughter, Robyn Stuart, began making the bourbon balls, dipped in chocolate, for family and friends. In tribute to her mother, Stuart expanded the treats into a candy business with 38 different flavors besides bourbon. Also available are chocolate covered grapes, pineapples, and strawberries.

DB Bourbon Candy clients include the Kentucky NFL Hall of Fame and Barnstable-Brown Derby Gala. The business is about giving back to children; in memory of Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham, DB Bourbon Candy gives toward school supplies for children in need.

Johnnye S. Cunningham was born in Lexington in 1937, about a year after bourbon balls were created in Kentucky. Both the candy and the bourbon are unique to Kentucky: approximately 95% of the bourbon in the United States is distilled in Kentucky.

For more about the DB Bourbon Candy, LLC business, see the first half of "Sweet Treats" program #441 on Connections With Renee Shaw, a Kentucky Educational Television Production; DB Bourbon Candy, LLC. For more about the history of Kentucky bourbon balls, see Kentucky Bluegrass Country, by R. G. Alvey.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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NKAA Source: Kentucky Bluegrass country

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“DB Bourbon Candy, LLC [Robyn C. Stuart and Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-08-12 18:22:00