Experience the Heart and Soul of Kentucky's Best Brands

Kentuckians love Kentucky. There seems to be a certain sense of pride that resonates with residents of the Commonwealth that you just don’t see elsewhere. Outside of the “Cats vs. Cards” contention, our great state seems to beam with camaraderie even at its bounds.

This unspoken feeling is what inspired us to take to the road to document some of the great places that have been born and bred right here in the Commonwealth, and have survived for decades, some even more than a century, operating with a community first mentality. Meaning that while they aim to offer goods and services to locals and travelers alike, they are similarly interested in investing in those who help run the day to day operations, and ultimately, enable their legacies.

Road Trip KY is all about telling the great untold, and somewhat told, stories of what makes Kentucky great. Great people with like minds, coming together, for the greater good. Stories about supporting local businesses in hopes of bolstering the economy. Stories about adjusting to survive then continuing to thrive. Stories about family traditions – on both sides of the counter. These are the stories that prove Kentucky is more than just a state. It’s a state of mind.


Starnes Barbecue means a lot of things to a lot of people in the town of Paducah. Starnes is a truly unique brand, because their business model revolves not around the growth of the business, but the strength of the human connection that makes their brand strong! The value of the Starnes name is not in the quality of a logo or the price of the food. It’s about the stories and the memories in which Starnes Barbecue is ingrained. Do you have a Starnes memory?

Road Trip Episode 1 Starnes

Heine Brothers is a continually growing brand in Louisville. Not only are they renowned for the quality of their organic and fair trade coffee, but they are known as a generous member of their community as well. Heine Brothers contribute to helpful programs for coffee farmers and help raise money for the Forecastle Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting biologically-rich hot spots across the globe.

Road Trip Heine Bros 2

Chaney’s Farm has a history with Bowling Green that dates all the way back to 1888, when Carl Chaney’s great-grandfather first set to sow. Now Carl and his wife Debra operate Chaney’s Dairy Barn, a restaurant and ice cream shop serving up homemade Kentucky Proud Ice Cream. Theirs is a story of resilience amidst financial uncertainty in an ever-changing industry, and a great example of how businesses sometimes have to adapt to stay afloat. Now, travelers from all around the region flock to grab a scoop of the famous ice cream and hopefully catch a glimpse of local celebrity Miss Glimmer.


Kentucky typically has two claims to fame that resonate with non-Kentuckians: thoroughbreds and brown water (aka: bourbon). While the horses take front and center on the great Kentucky stage the first Saturday every May, it’s the bourbon that serves as not just the biggest export for the Commonwealth, but also the biggest tourist attraction the other 364 days of the year.

As the bourbon boom seems to match, and surpass, its height in popularity year after year, its newfound successes have hardly begun to be satiated.


The overarching goal of the Road Trip Kentucky project is to, ultimately, tell some of the great stories of successful, meaningful, and impactful businesses throughout the history of our state. The beauty, and also the tragedy, of this effort is those stories aren’t too difficult to find. The problem is, we can’t tell them ALL.

But when it comes to brands born in the Commonwealth, there is one story that HAS to be told. It’s that of one of Kentucky’s oldest and boldest brands: Ale-8-One.

Road Trip KY