On a journey to success, there are few moments one can pinpoint and say, “That’s proof that I’ve made it.”
Receiving a shoutout from Jake Gyllenhaal on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show is one of them.
Josey Baker, a 2001 Peoples Academy grad, who moved to San Francisco in 2005 to begin his career as — like his surname prophesied — a baker.
“Another Morrisville resident, George Keilley got me started. He gifted me a sourdough starter in 2010 and I just fell in love,” Baker said when describing how he developed a passion for baking. Since then, he has founded his own company called Josey Baker Bread and is the co-owner of The Mill, a popular bakery and cafe in San Francisco.
It isn’t a namedrop on a nationwide TV show that Josey considers the greatest accomplishment of his career, though. His highlights, he said, are “Getting to work with such an amazing group of talented people, supporting small local farms, creating good nourishing food for my community, and enjoying and engaging in a timeless craft.”
When he attended high school, Josey was an active participant in nearly all that was available for the student body. He loved music — he was in chorus, select chorus and every play possible. Math and writing were two of his favorite subjects, and he attended Governor’s Institutes on the Arts and Social Activism.
He also participated in track and field, cross country skiing, baseball and soccer. When asked what teachers stood out to him over the years of his high school career, he recalled, “I loved many teachers, but the ones who stick out are Otho Thompson (the principal at the time), Mrs. Fournier, Ms. Zittzmann, Mr. Ducharme and Ms. Duffy.”
“It was an incredible experience overall,” Baker said of his years at Peoples Academy. “A very warm community. I felt very welcome. Basketball games were always so fun, dances were a blast. I loved hanging out at lunch time, in between class time with friends, and the classes themselves were pretty great too.”
Amid the current global turbulence, positivity is hard to come by, but Baker said, “I am very fortunate to say that I love my life very much.”
He now lives in Oakland, California with his wife, Cathy, and 5-year-old son Cassady. His book, “Josey Baker Bread,” published in 2014, is full of recipes and photography by Erin Kunkel. Read more about his story and his bakery on his website, joseybaker bread.com.
Olivia Owen is a senior at Peoples Academy High School in Morrisville.