By Holly Huffman
Imagine your dream coming true at age 13. That’s exactly what happened to Trevin Alford, a middle school student from Washington, Indiana.
Last fall, Alford “battered” the competition, winning season seven of the Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship.” The program featured nine kids, ranging in age from 10-13, tackling various baking challenges.
As the winner, Alford received $25,000 and a feature in Food Network magazine. His proud parents, David and Carrie Alford, are ecstatic. “This is a pipe dream come true,” said his mom.
Luck, skill and word-of-mouth all played a part in Alford’s screen time success.
Alford began baking at age 9 when he attended a camp which offered activity electives. He chose baking since he liked watching baking shows on the Food Network. He soon discovered a passion for the craft and continued to learn by watching YouTube videos.
He then began making — and selling — baked goods around his hometown. He even started an Instagram account (@trevin_tdabakes) on which he would post photos of his creations.
Others began talking about his baking prowess and one of his customers sang his praises to a friend who works in casting in Los Angeles. Days later, Alford was applying to be on “Kids Baking Championship.”
Alford relocated to LA for the show’s filming. While on the show, Alford showcased his skills by baking fun and imaginative creations. “During the competition, I made things like Angry Bird cupcakes, a peanut butter and banana poke cake, nectarine pie and the winning recipe: pineapple vanilla cakes,” Alford said.
One of the hardest parts of the competition for Alford was staying mum about the results of the competition for the three months before the show aired last September. Since garnering the top prize, he has continued to build on his successful baking business, T-Da Bakery. He’s got business booked to December of this year. With his prize money, he’s been able to build a work area on his family’s property.
“I’ve been able to do so many things and have had a lot of opportunities, including speaking to groups, because of the show,” Alford said. In the future, he plans to attend culinary school and run his business full time.
HOLLY HUFFMAN is the communication support specialist for Indiana Connection and Indiana Electric Cooperatives.
Check out Trevin’s recipe for Pineapple Vanilla Cake, which helped him win the Kids’ Baking Challenge, at IndianaConnection.org.