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Roots for the Home Team is a nonprofit business that buys garden produce from three inner-city community gardens operated by local nonprofits and teen employees. They become nutritious salads that are sold by student gardeners at the “Garden Goodies” cart at Minnesota Twins games on Sundays at Target Field. Pictured are Twin Cities dietician Sue Moores, volunteer founder of Roots; Dee Baker and Katherine Thao, student workers from the Community Design Center in St. Paul; Jamie Bain, the Community Design gardening program manager, student worker Kou Lee; and volunteer Megan O’Hara. Credit: Debra Fisher Goldstein Photography via Roots for the Home Team

, Star Tribune

Inside Track: Angels make a run on state tax credits

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY
  • Star Tribune
  • July 29, 2012 - 1:31 AM

The Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program has allocated the last of its $12 million in tax credits that were available to angel investors in 2012. There was a rush for the last of them after a column in last Sunday's Star Tribune indicated that the credits would soon be gone. 

The state's angel credit program manager, Jeff Nelson, said his agency had been processing about $100,000 per day in tax credit applications. The volume on Monday and Tuesday of last week was about $1 million each day. At the close of business on Tuesday, the last of the 2012 credits had been allocated.

The angel tax credit provides a 25 percent return of capital, in the form of a tax refund, for qualifying investments made in Minnesota start-ups.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which runs the program, will begin accepting applications in November for another $12 million in credits that will be available in 2013.

LEE SCHAFER

SALAD DAYS AT TARGET FIELD

Roots for the Home Team, which operates the Target Field Garden Goodies food cart, is an interesting social enterprise started by dietitian Susan Moores that's focused on better diets, healthier teenagers and hungry baseball fans at Minnesota Twins Sunday home games.

Over two years, Moores worked with three community gardens run by Minneapolis and St. Paul nonprofit agencies that employ part-time youth workers. Some of the produce is sold at farmers markets by the youth gardeners.

"I wanted a bigger audience," Moores said. " I thought Target Field would be a great place to showcase delicious salads from these kids' gardens."

The Twins and Delaware North Sportsservice, which prepares the salads and also teaches the teens culinary skills, have welcomed Garden Goodies, which peddles up to 150 salads at $7 apiece. Aaron Davis, a lawyer at Patterson Thuente, donated his services to get the program registered and trademarked so that "there's no confusion about who owns what when this thing starts to succeed and possibly expands to other communities and stadiums."

Roots buys the vegetables from the Youth Farm & Market Project and Emerge in Minneapolis, and Community Design Center of Minnesota in St. Paul. Coop Partners trucks it to Target Field kitchens. Moores hopes to add more urban-youth gardens to the partnership.

"My day job pays my bills," said Moores, the volunteer CEO of Roots, whose clients include Kowalski's. "We have wonderful financial partners in the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, Just Bare Chickens and Land O'Lakes. Our budget this year is about $80,000, including wages for kids and a several-thousand dollar grant to each of the youth-gardening programs. Twins fans tell us they'd love for us to be at more games."

More info at www.rootsforthehometeam.org.

SHORT TAKES

•The public relations duo of Teresa McFarland and Maureen Cahill are parting ways after a decade of telling the stories of clients ranging from Anytime Fitness to the Ladibugs head lice start-up company to the Crave collection of restaurants and online learning platform Sophia. Cahill will become executive director of Minneapolis-based Smile Network International, the nonprofit that provides reconstructive surgeries around the world. McFarland will open McFarland Communications in downtown Minneapolis. McFarland and Cahill's partnership dates to the 1990s, when they did public relations at the Mall of America.

•Ad agency Fallon has hired Jeff Kling as chief creative officer. Kling, who was solo for the past two years, was at Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam.

The trade publication Advertising Age said Kling is known for work that includes the Miller High Life campaign and Dos Equis "World's Most Interesting Man" spots.

•Des Moines-based DuPont Pioneer, the crop seed giant with operations around the globe, has picked the Lacek Group as its new marketing agency. Lacek has hired 25 employees to service the account, which includes advertising, trade shows and customer relations. It is one of Lacek's five largest accounts.

DAVID PHELPS

COLOGIX ARRIVES

Denver-based Cologix has acquired the Minnesota Gateway data center within the 511 Building, just east of the Metrodome. The facility, considered the most "networked" room in Minnesota, connects more than 70 fiber networks. Cologix has completed five acquisitions since its inception in 2010, including the Dallas Infomart data center and Telehouse Centre Canada in Toronto and Vancouver. The 1981-vintage 300,000-square-foot 511 Building, under one new Vikings stadium plan, would have been demolished. The 511, dubbed a "telecom hotel," specializes in business-critical off-site disaster recovery and backup, multitenant telecommunication switching and fiber network service providers. The 511 is valued by Hennepin County for tax purposes at $5.7 million.

RACEWAY BROTHERS

Big Brothers Big Sisters is racing to attract more volunteers, in addition to the 3,000 local men and women who befriend needy kids. Sunday at 6 p.m. is the first Big Brothers Big Sisters Night at Raceway Park in Shakopee. The event is driven by BBBS Chair Mike Felmlee, an executive of the Prouty Project, a consulting firm, and CEO Jeff Prouty, a racing buff. "This will be a fun activity, and it will also get us in front of a few hundred more men who are racing fans," said Gloria Lewis, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities. "We always have more boys who need male mentors than we do male volunteers."

Little brothers and sisters, often lower-income and single-parented, have a 40 percent higher high school graduation rate than similar kids who lack a mentor. More info at www.bigstwincities.org.

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