By: Megan Clark
Photos By: Tori Steyne
A strong family bond in a small town. Everyone knows that our parents’ home is a safe haven. No matter what is going on in our lives, we can come home and be welcomed with open arms every time, no questions asked. Our parents have never met a stranger and greet everyone with friendship and acceptance. Although we have faced many hardships in the past couple of years, this has only made our family’s bond stronger.
Boris “Al” Alvarado, the patriarch of our family, serves as a Newberry County Sherriff’s Deputy. He is well known in our community, as he has selflessly served in law enforcement for 14 years. Al is a peacemaker and truly has the heart of a servant. Being a Sheriff’s Deputy allows him the opportunity to interact with the community, which he feels is the most rewarding part of the job. He was awarded Officer of the Year in 2017 for his dedicated service in the field of law enforcement presented by the Newberry County Exchange Club. He was also awarded the Purple Heart in 2021 from the Newberry City Police Department for injuries sustained in the line of duty. Al served two tours in Somalia when he was in the United States Navy, where he worked as a helicopter engine component mechanic on the USS Inchon. Through hard work, determination, and his servant’s heart, Al has made a powerful impact in Newberry County. Al believes in treating everyone with empathy and respect.
Not only does Al serve Newberry County, but our family is greatly supported by our community in return. Al and Tosha are celebrating the one-year anniversary of their quaint, family-owned business this month. “All You Knead Baking Supplies” is located in downtown Prosperity. They have worked very hard on this business to provide supplies to local bakers and entrepreneurs during a time of shortages from the pandemic. They found distributors and companies to make baking supplies available to our community. All of the children, Alec, Evan (Cyan), Megan, Patrick, Caden, Andrew, and Aurora, share an interest in the business by helping out with technology, giving moral support, and being delivery drivers – there is strength in numbers. We are tremendously thankful for the continuous support and love from the community.
Tosha, the glue that holds us all together, spends most of her time tending to the family, running her shop, and baking. She is very grateful that she was able to turn her passion for baking and creating into her full-time career. She can regularly be found at the local Farmer’s Market where she sells homemade baked goods and small-batch handmade self-care products, such as soaps, bath bombs, and candles. Caden, the youngest sibling, once said, “Mom is somehow really good at so many things.” She may not be able to pull up Netflix on the television, but she is the craftiest of us all and seems to be able to turn nothing into something. She is the content creator of The Maker and Millennial YouTube channel that will be available this fall. This is a brand-new venture, and the plan is to use this creative outlet to showcase handmade products and life as the mother of five millennials living a semi-sustainable lifestyle. Tosha founded a crochet club, Community Crochet, in 2021 that meets every Wednesday evening at her shop. Everyone is welcome to come crochet - or be crafty - while being surrounded by laughter, friends, and fellowship.
The grandbaby of the family, Aurora (the 3-year-old daughter of Alec), is a firecracker. The only thing she loves more than baking is singing and dancing. She loves all genres of music. Aurora’s favorite line when she sees her grandmother is “Are we baking a cake, Lolli? I want to help you!” Whether it be baking, gardening, or making soap, Aurora is always wanting to lend a helping hand to her Lolli and Pop-pop, especially when she can express herself through creativity.
We are a large family, strongly rooted in our community. Our family is full of compassion and we feel honored to quietly help out when we are needed. Sometimes this help is a meal, sometimes it is a Christmas tree with all the trimmings. We believe in ourselves and we believe in each other; making sure that everyone gets what they need to succeed in their pursuits is a top priority. Those that get close to us are automatically honorary family; we have a habit of recruiting new family members. Some of our favorite bonding activities include hiking to scenic views, grilling out in the backyard, and game nights. Although all the “children” of the family are adults, Tosha and Al will sometimes be surprised with an impromptu full-house sleepover. We can always count on our homestead being a safe place and we know that we have endless love and support every time we walk through the door. The draw of family always ends up bringing us back together because being together is enough.