Ruth Tharpe Hunt founded a specialty candy store in Mount Sterling, Kentucky in 1921. Her candies and her efforts helped Ruth Hunt Candies succeed and expand, even through the Depression years. In 1988, Larry Kezele became the third owner of this storied business when he bought the company from Ruth Hunt's daughter, Ms. Emily Peck, who had literally grown up within the business and ran it until she was 70 years old.
When he was 16, Tobby Moore began working for Larry in Lexington, eventually moving to Ruth Hunt to handle many physical plant challenges—along with whatever else was needed. Today Tobby is a minority partner in the business.
In addition to the fun of talking sweets with Larry and Tobby, and we got to taste a new dark chocolate hemp bark they are making for Laura's Hemp Chocolates, a recent enterprise of Laura Freeman, founder of Laura's Lean Beef. We also demolished a box of Larry's favorites: chocolate wrapped cubes with centers like peanut butter and mint that melt away magically in one's happy mouth.
The present day candies and confections from Ruth Hunt sustain Ruth Hunt's commitment to quality, as stated on the company website:
Each product is made with the finest ingredients such as real whipping cream, dairy butter and freshly roasted nuts. The rich chocolate used has no additives like wax.
In addition to heritage offerings like pulled cream candy, the current owners have added new sweets, particularly ones flavored with bourbon, Kentucky’s favorite spirit.
This whole episode is sweet!