A north Minneapolis bakery staffed by teens is adding a second location, on St. Paul's East Side.

The nonprofit Cookie Cart organization has purchased space for a bakery at 946 Payne Avenue and is now working to raise the $3.2 million it needs to renovate the building. The group has set a goal of opening the bakery in 2017, but plans to start working with teens in St. Paul next year.

Teens in a program organized with Johnson High School will take classes on job readiness and life skills and sell cookies at community events, according to a news release from Cookie Cart organizers.

The Minneapolis Cookie Cart bakery, which was started by Sister Jean Thuerauf, has been in operation since 1988. It reopened last fall at its location at 1119 W. Broadway after a major renovation, and currently employs 200 young people. 

"We look forward to working hand in hand with our new neighbors on the East Side to transform the lives of more teens," said Matt Halley, the group's executive director.

Above: City and county officials participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Cookie Cart's north Minneapolis location in September 2014.

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