Cookie Cart, the North Minneapolis-based nonprofit business that gives disadvantaged teens their first job experience, will open its long-awaited St Paul location on Payne Avenue in late April.
This $3 million-plus buy-renovate-and-equip effort expects to employ up to 100 low-income teens annually who learn baking, sales, financial literacy and more in partnership with nearby Johnson High School.
A grand opening will happen at a soon-to-be-announced date in May.
Cookie Cart, a lynchpin of West Broadway Avenue, was started 30 years ago by the late Catholic Sister Jean Thuerauf in 1988. A north side resident, Thuerauf invited a few neighborhood kids into her home to work on schoolwork and help bake cookies. Eventually, Thuerauf expanded to a small bakery as she worked with a growing number of students on job-training and skills.
Today, Cookie Cart, staffed by more than 200 teenagers, posts operating revenue of about $1.6 million from sales and contributions by individuals and businesses.
The social enterprise, which combines cooking and training, has doubled cookie sales in recent years from its refurbished, expanded bakery on W. Broadway Avenue, the main commercial artery of the north side.
Cookie Cart will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Baking Bright Futures Breakfast on Thursday, April 5, at 7 a.m. The event will be at Sanctuary Covenant Church at 710 W. Broadway Av. It’s free and open to the public, in honor of Thuerauf and the impact she has had on the thousands of kids and the community.
A light breakfast with pastries baked by the Cookie Cart teens will be served and guest speakers, including alumni and Cookie Cart staff and community supporters, will present a brief program about the history and community impact of Cookie Cart over the past 30 years.
There also will be an opportunity to contribute.
Registration is at:https://cookiecart.liveimpact.org/li/8241/sevent/evt/home/81368/69.