Get to know Rashi and Mariana: The Rising Stars of October!

Congratulations Rashi and Mariana!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff works together to determine which young people are striving to be their best. They look for a positive attitude, mindfulness of adult staff and youth peers, strong attendance to scheduled shifts, and demonstration of initiative and willingness to help others.

What makes Rashi and Mariana stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below and stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

Rashi

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Since April. I decided to apply to work at Cookie Cart because I knew it was a good first job experience and that I would be able to work with people my age.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like that I get to meet new people and talk to them. I’ve met so many people who live in my neighborhood by working here. I like that my coworkers can be themselves here and that we get to have fun while we work hard. I like that we get to do sales events and workplace visits because we get to learn and get paid, which is a nice opportunity to have. I guess I just like that I get more opportunities that will prepare us for the next job.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I worked hard this summer. I was always calling in on my days off to see if I could work, or asked if I could stay longer. I started here wanting to learn everything I could, so I asked a lot of questions so I would know what to do.

What is the secret to your success?
Keep yourself positive and motivated. Even if I’m not in the best mood, I keep going because I know hard work pays off. I stepped up to be a leader even though I’m not a Cart Captain yet.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
Honestly, the Dairy Queen workplace visit because I learned a lot about marketing and I got 2nd place in the blizzard competition. And also my first sales event because I really learned how to talk to people that day. I spent all the downtime reading the brochure so I knew what to say to people when they asked what Cookie Cart was.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
You want to stand out in a good way. Be a good work and respectful to your coworkers. If you have some bad qualities when you start, just be willing to show you can change those into positive things.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to get a 4-year degree and be a fashion designer and have my own business that’s like Cookie Cart, but with designing clothes instead of cookies. I want to go to St. Thomas, St. Kate’s, or St. Cloud State University

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Leadership, Communication, Time management

Mariana 

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Since November. I wanted to work at Cookie Cart because lots of my family worked here.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
The environment and the vibe, and the fact that there’s no bad energy here. I like doing customer service and folding boxes too.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I have shown my potential and grown into it. I’m not a Cart Captain yet, but I’ve stepped out of my box since I started and I actually help people instead of watching them fail. I’m not afraid to correct my coworkers, even Cart Captains.

What is the secret to your success?
Have fun. Don’t let anyone stop you from what you’re supposed to be doing. Not having an attitude

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
Last year when I first started we were in the community room building shipping boxes and that was fun. We built so many it filled the windows.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate Chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Just be yourself and be positive. Come to work ready.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to go to FAMU or UCLA and become a surgeon.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Leadership skills, critical thinking, and good customer service.

Congratulations on being selected as Rising Stars for the month of October. The leadership team would like to thank you for all your hard work!

Meet the Chefs: Kristy Dirk

Cookie Cart’s 9th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 29 at Town & Country Club in Saint Paul. The dinner is prepared by a team of local celebrity chefs, led by award-winning chef, culinary educator, and restaurant consultant Pat Weber, along with student chefs from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota. We are honored to have another phenomenal lineup chefs for this year’s event, including Kristy Dirk of Lucky Oven Bakery.

Kristy Dirk is the chef and owner of Lucky Oven Bakery. After graduating from the Art Institutes International Baking and Pastry program, she went to work for Michelle Gayer’s  Salty Tart. She has also done pastry work for Mise en Place and worked as a pastry chef at Mosaic Café and Red Wagon Pizza.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Meet the Chefs: Robert Dunn

Cookie Cart’s 9th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 29 at Town & Country Club in Saint Paul. The dinner is prepared by a team of local celebrity chefs, led by award-winning chef, culinary educator, and restaurant consultant Pat Weber, along with student chefs from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota. We are honored to have another phenomenal lineup chefs for this year’s event, including Robert Dunn of Club Medtronic inside US Bank Stadium.

Chef Robert, a native of Chicago, is a 2014 graduate of The Art Institute of Minnesota. His passion for cooking started at a young age and has only continued to flourish through the years. Robert is currently chef at Club Medtronic in Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium., where he is not only dedicated to his team and customers, but also to put his heart into every dish he creates. To Robert, cooking is more than just a job, it’s what fills his life with purpose and meaning. In his free time, Robert enjoys using his skill set and love for food to give back to his community through a variety of events and programs, including Cooking Matters, the No Kid Hungry Initiative, with the University of Minnesota. Robert hopes to one day open his own restaurant in Minneapolis where he can continue to share his passion with his community and bring happiness into the lives of others.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Meet the Chefs: Gene Norling

Cookie Cart’s 9th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 29 at Town & Country Club in Saint Paul. The dinner is prepared by a team of local celebrity chefs, led by award-winning chef, culinary educator, and restaurant consultant Pat Weber, along with student chefs from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota. We are honored to have another phenomenal lineup chefs for this year’s event, including Gene Norling of Domacin Wine Bar.

Some of Chef Gene’s earliest memories are from growing up on a farm up north in rural Minnesota. His parents instilled a respect for food. They raised pigs, chickens, grew vegetables, and had a large root cellar full of preserved crops from years prior. It took Gene quite a few years to recognize his calling as a chef. Creating dishes, and making food for guests is what truly makes him happy. Chef Gene makes sacrifices in his personal life in order to do these things, and he looks forward to seeing many smiles at this year’s Cookie Cart Chefs’ Dinner.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Meet the Chefs: Blake Wangelin

Cookie Cart’s 9th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 29 at Town & Country Club in Saint Paul. The dinner is prepared by a team of local celebrity chefs, led by award-winning chef, culinary educator and restaurant consultant Pat Weber, along with student chefs from the International Culinary School at the Art Institutes International of Minnesota. We are honored to have another phenomenal line up chefs for this year’s event, including Blake Wangelin of Blue Birch Restaurant.

Chef Blake made his start in his family’s restaurant in a small town in Wisconsin. Quickly after graduating high school, he moved to the Twin Cities to go to The Art Institute of Minnesota, where he won the Best Teen Chef Competition in 2013, and graduated in December of 2015. After working in a couple small restaurants, Blake entered the hotel scene for the Commons Hotel, and then worked briefly with Jamie Malone and Eric Anderson. Currently, Blake works as Sous Chef of Marriott Southwest and the residing restaurant, Blue Birch.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Introducing September’s Rising Stars!

Congratulations Autumn and Jackie!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff works together to determine which young people are striving to be their best. They look for a positive attitude, mindfulness of adult staff and youth peers, strong attendance to scheduled shifts, and demonstration of initiative and willingness to help others.

What makes Autumn and Jackie stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below and stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

Autumn

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Since October 23. I wanted to work here because my friends told me about it and said it would be fun. And I heard it was a nice first job experience.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like going on sales events because you get to go places, meet new people, and they help us with what we need to work on. I also like working in the bakery and doing customer service. I like talking to people, but I haven’t always liked to. When I first started working here, it made me come out more. I knew I needed help with my communication skills because I was so shy, and Cookie Cart has helped with that.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’m always doing what has to be done, I do extra, and I always make sure my workplace is clean. I make sure everyone is on task and help people who need help. I’m not a Cart Captain yet, but I’m working on it.

What is the secret to your success?
I keep doing what I’m doing and make sure that I’m trying something different if I mess up so I can do better. I’m motivated by the leadership class I took at Cookie Cart because it taught us a lot about communication and eye contact. I was still pretty shy when I did the leadership class, but now I know I can’t be shy, I need to speak up more.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
During the winter last year it was super busy and we were making lots of cookies. I met a lot of new people and volunteers. I thought it was a lot of fun because we got to scoop a lot of cookie dough and learned to decorate cookies.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Keep up the good work, focus on what you need help on, speak up and communicate with your teammates, and have eye contact with customers.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to go to college at MCTC and I want to be a psychologist or a nurse, or own my own restaurant – either Mexican or Native American food. I’m also interested in cosmetology and want to be a music producer.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Leadership, Communication, Connection to new communities

Jackie 

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
1 year. I wanted to work here because my brother said it was a good way to earn money and you get free cookies. My mom knew Sister Jean too.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like scooping, washing dishes, and cleaning. When I’m done with scooping and dishes I ask my manager what I can do next.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I ask for help when I need it and I give people great compliments. I’m learning to work with a team.

What is the secret to your success?
My family because I help my mom pay for food and bills.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
Everything at Cookie Cart is memorable and sticks with me.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate Chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Make sure you do a good job working here. If you love something, follow it and give it your all, and don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do the impossible things.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to work at a tea shop because I’m good at making tea and know the secret recipes.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Do things that will help you keep your job, better interviewing skills, and how to teach volunteers how to do jobs at Cookie Cart.

Congratulations on being selected as Rising Stars for the month of September. The leadership team would like to thank you for all your hard work!

Introducing August’s Rising Stars!

Congratulations Carlisha and Dontayeah!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff works together to determine which young people are striving to be their best. They look for a positive attitude, mindfulness of adult staff and youth peers, strong attendance to scheduled shifts, and demonstration of initiative and willingness to help others.

What makes Carlisha and Dontayeah stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below and stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

Carlisha

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Since October – so 9 months. I wanted to work here because I felt like the experience would be different than STEP-UP and because Ms. Sadia was encouraging me to apply.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
The vibes that I get. You could be having the worst day possible and you’d come into work and somebody will make you smile.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’ve been working really hard and the managers noticed that I was trying to get somewhere like Rising Star and Cart Captain. Getting Rising Star feels like a shoutout to notice that I’m doing good work. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, maybe more, try harder. I have more to learn from Cookie Cart.

What is the secret to your success?
What keeps me going is to see my future and what’s going to come out of what I’m doing now.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
I still remember when I spilled an entire mop bucket down the stairs.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Double chocolate chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Take initiative, step out of your comfort zone to help people in the bakery instead of just letting them do the wrong thing, and always suggest new ideas because something new might be better than the original and traditional way.

What does your bright future look like?
Next, I want to work at a nursing home because it’s something different than what I’ve done before. I want to keep a steady job throughout high school, then go to cosmetology school, then go into the military. After the military, I want to own my own salon doing hair, barbering, nails, and cosmetics

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Responsibility, Leadership, Get comfortable with customer service

Dontayeah 

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
7 months. I wanted to work here because my friends recommended it to me.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like scooping because it’s fun and you get to interact with your coworkers and start conversations. It’s helped me work on my communication skills.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’ve been improving my communication skills with my co-workers and managers. I’ve always interacted well with others because I have a good vibe.

What is the secret to your success?
I’m motivated by my little brothers and sisters because I need to be a leader for them because they look up to me.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
CPI at FLOW. We did a sucker pyramid and I got to interact with a lot of people from the neighborhood.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate Chip

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Work hard, stay focused, keep being motivated.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to go to cosmetology school and get my license, then go back to a 4-year school for business so I can open my own shop. I’ve always seen myself as a business woman and have been doing hair since I was 13.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Resume building, being a leader, and the importance of building relationships and connections.

Congratulations on being selected as Rising Stars for the month of August. The leadership team would like to thank you for all your hard work!

Join us at Crafting Brighter Futures at Surly Brewing!

Join us on Monday, August 21 for a casual, happy hour-style networking event at the much-celebrated Surly Brewing Co.! Guests will interact with the young men and women of Cookie Cart, learn more about Cookie Cart’s program and how to support growth, and enjoy Surly’s world-renowned beer. Youth employees will practice their networking and explore careers through conversations with supportive professionals in their community like you.

Date: Monday, August 21
Time: 5:30 – 8 pm | Program starts at 6 pm
Location: Surly Brewing Co., Scheid Hall | 526 Malcolm Ave SE | Minneapolis

Purchase Tickets »

Become a sponsor »

Make a Gift »

Thank you to our event sponsors:

 

Susan and Gene Kujava

Introducing July’s Rising Stars

Congratulations Phillip and Cirea!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff works together to determine which young people are striving to be their best. They look for a positive attitude, mindfulness of adult staff and youth peers, strong attendance to scheduled shifts, and demonstration of initiative and willingness to help others.

What makes Phillip and Cirea stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below and stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

Phillip

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Since September. I wanted to get a good first job, and I heard a lot of good reccommendations from people at school and in the community. I wanted to work with people my age before really getting into the workforce with adults.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
The sales events and workplace visits because they open doors for opportunities that you wouldn’t normally get.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’m open to any task that they assign and I’m flexible with my schedule. I’ve learned to be more open and flexible since working here beacuse I know all the things they ask you to do will benefit me.

What is the secret to your success?
Having a great attitude and being friendly with everyone.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
The Baking Bright Futures Breakfast when we got to make scones. And the event itself because I learned about the history of Cookie Cart, got to meet one of Sister Jean’s family members. And I liked planning for the graduation for alumni because I knew everyone graduating and it was fun to be a part of the planning.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate chip by far.

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Make sure you’re well acquainted with your bosses and anyone above you because it gets you further in your job and work comes easier because they know you and know what you’re capable of.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to go college, my goal is to go to the U of M. I’m not sure what I want to study – I’m keeping that open.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
Communications skills with peers, adults and customers. Flexibility outside of school. Leadership.

Cirea

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
Almost 6 months. I was excited about my first job and my friends told me Cookie Cart was a good first job experience. And there are classes here that help us learn what a next job will be like. Ms. Sadia encouraged me to apply.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
You get to learn from your mistakes. When I first started, I dropped a cookie on the ground and I thought you could pick it up, but everyone was nice and helped me learn that you can’t do that. Everyone helps helps you if you have questions and helps you figure out another way to do things

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’m hardworking, I set goals for myself and even on my worst days, I have a positive attitude no matter what because I know it’s all about how you present yourself.

What is the secret to your success?
Self confidence. I’ve built it up overtime and Cookie Cart has helped me.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
When I first started we were building a lot of boxes and I wasn’t expecting it to be fun. But we got to socialize and I made a lot of friends doing that.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Peanut Butter

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Even after you become Rising Star, keep working your hardest and be your best. Do what you’re doing and you’ll make it where you want to go.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to be a Pediatric Doctor because I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, and I like helping kids. I’m not sure where I want to go to college.

What are the top three skills you’ve learned at Cookie Cart, or have worked on the most?
You can’t act how you act outside of your job because you’re always representing your employer. Communication because I used to not like talking to people I don’t know, but now I don’t mind it. And responsibility.

Congratulations on being selected as Rising Stars for the month of July. The leadership team would like to thank you for all your hard work!

Join us in the Give Twin Cities Challenge!

Cookie Cart has joined the Give Twin Cities Challenge, a fundraising competition on presented by Minnesota Monthly. The Give Twin Cities Challenge is a friendly fundraising competition where local Minnesota organizations compete to raise the most money for their cause. Participating organizations will aim to win $50,000 in prize money. All donations made to Cookie Cart through the Challenge on CrowdRise will support our Saint Paul teens and our Capital Campaign!

The Give Twin Cities Challenge launches on Thursday, July 20 at 11 am CST and runs through Thursday, August 24 at 1 pm. The team that raises the most during the Challenge wins $25,000, second place wins $15,000 and third place wins $10,000. Weekly Bonus Challenges enable charities to win prizes throughout the challenge even if they’re not in the top 3.

To secure the $25,000 Grand Prize, we need your support! There are 3 ways to help:

1) Make a gift – big or small – on our Give Twin Cities Challenge fundraising page. In order to count towards the grant total, gifts must be made through CrowdRise.

2) Join our team as a fundraiser! By setting up a fundraiser for our cause and reaching out to your network, you can help us make an even bigger impact and get us closer to the Grand Prize! It takes less than five minutes to set up a fundraiser. All you have to do is Go Here and click ‘Fundraise for This Campaign.’

3) Share the Challenge with friends, family, and co-workers.

All donations made will benefit the bright futures of Saint Paul teens, by supporting our Capital Campaign. Make your gift here, starting July 20 at 11 am!

Please contact email hidden; JavaScript is requiredwith any questions, and thank you for supporting the Give Twin Cities Challenge!