Innovative Programs

Cookie Cart

Mission/Goal of Program

Cookie Cart provides teens 15 to 18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through hands on experience and training in urban nonprofit bakeries. The first storefront was started on Emerson Avenue, and then in 1996 Cookie Cart settled into its current location on West Broadway Avenue, right in the heart of North Minneapolis. In 2018, Cookie Cart opened a second bakery and training facility on Saint Paul’s East Side on the historic Payne Avenue.

Programs/Services Offered

Cookie Cart youth employees have the chance to learn “real world” work skills by actively participating in the daily production and sales of cookies in a nonprofit bakery. Mistakes are treated as learning opportunities, and all lessons are given in the context of how to meet expectations at traditional jobs. In addition, the youth employees attend workshops that focus on interpersonal communication, critical thinking and future goal orientation. They include: 

  • Foundations which is the understanding and developing of successful work skills such as work rules, safety, peer communication, managing schedules;
  • Leadership training on directing peer teams, training new youth employees, dealing with conflict; 
  • Bright Futures concentrating on preparing for the transition to the next job by preparing resumes, practicing interviewing, and applying for a job; and 
  • Financial Literacy workshops that cover the essential building blocks of personal finance.
Start Date
Friday, January 1, 1988
Type of Agency/Organization
Nonprofit Organization
Geographic Reach
Clientele/Population Served
15- to 18-year-olds from low-income communities of color
Education and Training
On the Job Training