Five questions on starting a new career with Alex Bradley Jr.

Hannah Swayze • Aug 12, 2018 at 6:57 PM

For those downtown late at night this weekend, you may have noticed a usually dark storefront that was open and serving up some crave-fulfilling late-night treats. 

For these sweets, they have Alex Bradley Jr. at Johnson City Bakery to thank — and his new til-midnight hours.

Bradley is the bakery’s new manager having made the switch recently from a long career in television news. It’s only been three weeks since he took the dive. Later this month he will start culinary school and he’s excited to make his passion for cooking into a livelihood. 

Alex Bradley Jr. in brief:

Mac or PC?


Favorite Celebrity chef?

Paula Dean.

Pie crust from scratch or store bought?

If i’m in a rush, store-bought. If I have time and energy, from scratch.

Favorite cookie?

Chocolate chip.

Beer or wine?


1. What’s it like making such a big career change?

“Difficult. Scary! A lot of praying. If you told me even six months ago that I would be running a bakery I would have said ‘OK. Whatever.’ And went on. I never thought anything like this would have happen. I always dreamed about it always loved the idea of it but i never thought it would actually happen.”

2. What do you like about cooking?

“My ultimate favorite thing about it is when someone bites into something and you get that ‘wow’ factor. And when you can bring someone back to a memory, that makes me feel good. Because I remember going to see my grandmother. She would always bake something or put something in this little owl cookie jar. Every time I’d go it would be in the owl cookie jar and that was like my special little treat for going over and if I can make something that brings that (kind of) memory back to someone else, I’ve done my job.”

3. What is your favorite thing to cook?

“My favorite thing to cook would probably be chicken crescents. It’s also one of my favorite foods. It is a whole heaping cup of boneless chicken with a whole pack of cream cheese inside of a crescent roll. It is amazing. As far as sweets and stuff which goes with the Johnson City Bakery … it’s hard to choose. There’s so much but probably banana puddin’. Banana puddin’ has always been one of my favorite sweets so being able to make an old-style, grandma-style banana puddin’... It’s out of this world.”

4. If you could have one last meal, what would it be?

“One last meal. ... OK it’s a tie between pizza and chicken crescents. But chicken crescents is probably going to beat beat it. Just saying. Pizza’s good. My pizza’s really good … but chicken crescents. … I’m a cheese person I love cheese so ... Yeah! Chicken crescents.”

5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“The best advice I ever got was from Paula Dean. She knew something was going on with me. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t talk about it. She looked me straight in the eye and she said, ‘Honey, never give up.’ And that is so true. I have had everything fall apart. I've hit rock bottom. … And you've got to be able to survive. You never know what’s going to happen. ... Never give up. Always live your dream. Always try to succeed in it. Do whatever you gotta do to get there. Because it’s well worth it in the end.”




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