Partner Spotlight: The Sugar Mamas Bakeshop from Louisville, KY

What happens when you mix two of life’s greatest indulgences, chocolate and bourbon, with passion and creativity? Meet The Sugar Mamas Bakeshop from Louisville, KY. Started in 2010 by Maggie Jones, this isn’t your everyday bakeshop. Maggie defines entrepreneurial zest and dedication to quality and detail. She loves to bake and that comes through in all of her products. From sugar cookies to cakes to our signature Pappy & Company handmade bourbon balls, The Sugar Mamas Bakeshop is the sweetest partnership we could imagine.

Sugar Mamas Bakeshop started in Maggie’s kitchen while making desserts for her family and friends and has grown into the shop she has today. As a self-proclaimed maker, Maggie needed a creative outlet to express herself and baking proved to be the perfect extension of that. In addition to bourbon balls, she makes custom cakes, cookies, cupcakes and cake balls. She also just started offering cookie decorating classes to baking enthusiasts looking to learn the tricks of her trade.

Being from Louisville, we’ve known Maggie since high school and reconnected when we were looking for the perfect partner to help us develop a bourbon ball for Pappy & Company. We knew we wanted to work with someone who shared our dedication to high quality ingredients, small batch production and a passion for being the best in her field. She also knew what it meant to run a small business and as a female entrepreneur shared a lot of our goals and values.

The bourbon ball is a deep rooted Kentucky tradition and knew if we were going to attempt one that could rival the infamous original creator, Ruth Hanly, we would need to use only the best and freshest ingredients we could source. All of our bourbon balls are made fresh to order, which means no preservatives or anything funky. It also means that we have to be careful when we ship these tasty bites nationwide to make sure they are handled with care and weather does not impact their flavor or presentation. Maggie hand makes each candy, from choosing high quality ingredients to picking out the perfect pecan. And of course there's really good bourbon involved as well.

As a small family company, Maggie relies heavily on seasonal employees, mostly other moms, with families--something we can easily relate to. She said if given the chance to ask Pappy one question we would want to know what his biggest learning moment was in having a business and how he handled it. If we had to guess, Pappy would most likely tell Maggie the following:

  1. Make a premium product and keep it in short supply
  2. There are things you can do to make a product cheaper but it’s going to compromise the flavor and we don’t do that, flavor is the bottom line
  3. Hang in there when things get tough
  4. Never underestimate the importance of family

A few fun facts about bourbon balls:

  1. The bourbon ball was invented by Ruth Hanley Booe of Rebecca Ruth Candy in 1938
  2. Bourbon balls were originally made in Kentucky after the dignitary had commented that the two best tastes in the world were Miss Booe’s candy and Kentucky Bourbon.
  3. The key ingredients to bourbon balls are: bourbon, chocolate, powder sugar, butter and pecans (not in that particular order)
  4. It took two years before Ruth perfected the recipe (still a secret to this day)
  5. We make about 100,000 bourbon balls a year!