The amazing north Minneapolis teens behind Green Garden Bakery have raised the $200,000 needed to build a commercial kitchen and expanded education-and-demonstration space in the community room of their home base, Heritage Park Apartments.

Elana Dahlberg, long-time manager with Green Garden’s sponsoring nonprofit, Urban Strategies, said design is underway and construction could start by August.

The Green Garden high school leaders, who met years ago in a community gardening-and-cooking class when they were in grade school, have concocted a business that could hit $50,000 in sales this year.

Last fall, Green Garden won the youth division of the annual Minnesota Cup entrepreneur sweepstakes, earning accolades and a $10,000 prize, plus an extra $1,000 for the best pitch to the judges.

I wrote about Green Garden Bakery after it won a Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial competition award last fall.

The youth entrepreneurs outgrew a small kitchen at Heritage Park that they share with others. They often bussed to south Minneapolis to rental space in a kitchen incubator for small businesses.

This enterprise involves about 100 kids, including gardening and cooking classes for elementary school students. They focus on raising vegetables in northside gardens, healthy baked goods and environmental stewardship.The 10-or-so high school leaders of the business are paid about $10 an hour.

An anonymous donor offered $150,000 if the kids could cook up $50,000. They exceeded that.
And Green Garden was featured on NBC Nightly News earlier this month.

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