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Texas teen finds joy, family connection through baking

Josh Alphonse discovered his passion after watching his mom and aunt in the kitchen.

CORSICANA, Texas — Mona White and her sister, Eushunda, say anytime they’re in the kitchen, they love cooking up memories and reminiscing about their mom and her recipes.

White told WFAA she didn’t think anyone was paying attention to their cooking until her son, Josh Alphonse, started asking questions.

“Like, ‘wow, you noticed I put that in there? You noticed I used this instead of that,’” White said.

“They’re like, ‘why do you know that,’” Alphonse remembered. “And I’m like, because I saw you do it last time.’”

When he was 9 years old, Alphonse finally asked if he could bake sugar cookies from scratch. Once he did, that was the start of his obsession.

Before long, on his own time, Alphonse started watching videos online, learning different recipes and techniques.

Eventually, he commandeered the kitchen and was baking nonstop. By the time he turned 14, Alphonse started his own bakery called Josh’s Bakery. He began by selling from the family’s driveway, then set up shop at the local barbecue joint in Corsicana. It's now so popular, he has a website where he sells and ships his baked goods all over the country.

Alphonse is now 16 years old, and his mom and aunt say his skills have far-surpassed theirs.

Today, they’re his biggest cheerleaders, but they say no one would be prouder than their mom.

“He would definitely make her proud,” White said.

Alphonse never met his grandma. She died of cancer before he was born. That’s why this was never entirely about baking. It was about connecting to what he never knew and creating a memory he’ll always cherish.

“Food was one of those things that brought us together more, especially if it was a recipe that was from my grandmother,” Alphonse said. “It was always a nostalgic or comforting feeling.”

“To know that’s a part of what he does now means a whole lot because I know that will continue on,” White said.

Josh’s Bakery: Undeniably sweet.

For more information, visit the bakery's website.

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