Meet the Chefs: Jenna Farni

citizen-supper-club-chef-jenniferCookie Cart’s 8th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 30 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 Jenna Farni of Citizen Supper Club.

During her time at the University of Minnesota, Jenna Farni worked in various positions within the culinary industry. Just before graduation, she switched paths and enrolled at the Arts Institute International Minnesota, graduating with a Culinary Management degree. Prior to joining Citizen Supper Club, she held management positions at The Oceanaire, Victory 44, Parka, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and CōV in Wayzata.

Outside of work, Jenna enjoys reading and exploring the latest in the Twin Cities culinary scene. We’re thrilled to have Jenna join us for another Chefs’ Dinner, after her first appearance at the 2013 event.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Meet the Chefs: Ben Weiss

ben-weiss_img_2501Cookie Cart’s 8th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 30 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 Ben Weiss of Butcher & the Boar.

Chef Ben Weiss’ appreciation for cuisine began at a young age, helping his mother prepare meals for the family whenever he could.  His enthusiasm for food carried into his professional career. Ben graduated from the Art Institutes International MN in 2008 and has been working his way up the culinary ladder ever since. Honing his skills under some of Minnesota’s best chefs, he continues to define his cuisine utilizing the skills and experience he has picked up along the way.

In 2013, he began working at Butcher & the Boar under Executive Chef Jack Riebel, and in 2015 he was promoted to the position of Sous Chef. At Butcher & the Boar, Chef Ben oversees nightly service on the line, as well as creating new and exciting dishes for the restaurant’s menu, and butchering meats every day for service.

Chef Ben believes that quality ingredients, good technique, and above all – attention to detail are essential in cooking. Keeping things fresh, seasonal, and simple is key. “Let your ingredients shine through and have a clear vision of what you are trying to create.”

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Introducing October’s Rising Stars!

Congratulations Devone and Alexis!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff work 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 Devone and Alexis stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below or stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

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How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?

Since June, so 4 months.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like meeting everyone who works here, and having friends who work here. I knew a lot of people when I started, which helped me to not be shy and quiet. I like working with my hands, so building boxes is my favorite job to do.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’m a hard worker – I get a task and I’m down to finish it. I also have been coming in on days when I’m not scheduled to help out, which I think people appreciate.

What is the secret to your success?
I do my work and I’m motivated to come to work. My biggest motivator is my friends who work here – we get the job done and have fun.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
We went to Valleyfair twice this summer. Once to learn about hydraulics and once just for fun.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Coconut Toffee

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Just be a hard worker and come to work.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to be an engineer. I’m not sure what kind, maybe technical. I’ve taken an intro class at school and right now I’m taking principles of engineering. It’s interesting to me.

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How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
A year in November.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
The fact that they let me blossom as a person, while essentially making me a better, more prepared worker.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
Because I have the whole package: I learn well, listen effectively, lead properly, and dedicate myself to my job.

What is the secret to your success?
Laughter. When I laugh it spreads to other people which all together makes the work place happy.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
My most memorable moment is when we had a sales event & Alex almost fell off the golf cart.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate chip.

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Be humble, be dedicated, be persistent, and learn to love what you do.

What does your bright future look like?
After high school I want to go to Spelman College for an undergraduate degree in creative writing and a Master’s in Developmental Psychology. After I’m done with my Master’s I want to start my own practice and work for a while before I go back to school for a Ph.D. in Developmental Psych.

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: Chris Uhrich

chris-ulrichCookie Cart’s 8th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 30 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 Chris Uhrich of Mucci’s Italian.

Chris Uhrich was born and raised in the Twin Cities. From a very early age he found himself in the kitchen. He worked as a busboy in a restaurant from age 13 and became a cook at a local pizza shop later that year. He received a hand crank pasta roller as a gift that Christmas and that solidified his fascination with Italian food as well as working with dough. Chef Chris has always been the happiest in the kitchen when his hands were covered with flour. The magic of cooking, for Chef Chris, has always been the simple transformation of humble ingredients. That’s a philosophy that has been associated with Italian cooking for centuries–and that’s why it resonated so strongly with him.

Chef Chris attended the Art Institute International Minnesota while working as a cook in some high end restaurants in Minneapolis including Corner Table and Heidi’s. After school ended in the winter of 2013, he went on to be Sous Chef at The Strip Club Meat and Fish in St. Paul. This is where Chef Chris met his current business partner and they decided to open a new restaurant.

Chris is very proud to have opened Mucci’s Italian in February of 2016. Mucci’s serves very simple, rustic Italian American food with a great attention to detail. He likes to say that the food is all about family, tradition, and the slow passing of time. Pizza, pasta, and weekend morning doughnuts. Everyone’s guilty pleasures, really.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Meet the Chefs: Zach Schugel

zach-schugelCookie Cart’s 8th Annual Chefs’ Dinner is on October 30 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 Zach Schugel of Birch’s on the Lake.

Zach grew up in a small German town in Southern Minnesota. He moved to Minneapolis to pursue his Culinary Arts Degree at the Art Institute International Minnesota directly after high school. While in school, he completed a few self-internships, participated in many volunteer school activities, and was a member of the ACF Junior Culinary Team. Chef Zach worked at Alma, a James Beard Award winning restaurant, for three years, which set the bar for his culinary standards. Upon graduation from the Ai in 2011, at the young age of 21, he was given the opportunity to open a new restaurant as the Executive Chef in downtown Wayzata. His discipline, attention to detail, and his overall passion for great food and great service has got him where he is today, as chef at Birch’s on the Lake in Long Lake.

Visit the Chefs’ Dinner main page »

Introducing September’s Rising Stars!

Congratulations Tazjha and Solomon!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff work 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 Tazjha and Solomon stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below or stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

TazjhaTazjha_crop

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?

6 months

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I get to work with and interact with people my age. I also love the fact that I get to interact with my community.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I come in with a positive attitude even if I’m not feeling well that day. I come with a smile and get to work. I’m also a person you can count on.

What is the secret to your success?
Ask questions always, help always, step up to challenges.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
My interview because I always had to practice those type of things at home, and I finally got to do it. I was a little nervous, but it ended up being a great experience – and I got the job!

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Peanut butter has been my favorite lately.

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Stay positive, ask questions, always smile, and most of all – have fun!

What does your bright future look like?
First I want to graduate high school with a 4.0 GPA. Then I want to go to Spellman College in Atlanta and study either music or business. Music because I’m a singer and low-key want to be a performer with a teaching or speaking side job. Business because you get to interact with a lot of people, which opens more doors for you and can add another page to your life. I also want to be a mentor for teenage girls when I’m older. I’m in the Girls Mentoring Group here at Cookie Cart and it’s helped me to take my future seriously. I want to be able to tell my story to other teens and encourage them to do great things.

SolomonSolomon_crop

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
I started taking classes at Cookie Cart in June. But I volunteered a lot before I was hired.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like meeting new people and washing dishes. Sometimes there’s 150 or so dishes back there, but I think it’s an easy job.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I wash dishes better than anyone else. And I also work hard, focus, and get stuff done.

What is the secret to your success?
I’m quiet, which gives me time and space to think, focus, and get work done. I think I’m a quiet leader because when others see me being quiet and focusing, they will follow – I lead by example.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
We went to a workplace visit at AT&T. It was something new to me. We learned about why you shouldn’t text and drive, and it was just interesting.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Chocolate Chip – especially when it’s warm. Melts in your mouth.

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Have fun, work hard, focus, and be yourself!

What does your bright future look like?
My first goal is to be promoted to Cart Captain, then I want to be a Bakery Assistant. After high school I want to go to college and then to Law School. Cookie Cart is helping me stay focused on my future and is preparing me by giving me the opportunity to work with people and build leadership skills.

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!

Join us to Dedicate Our North Minneapolis Bakery to our Founder, Sister Jean

 

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To express our gratitude for the tools and vision Sister Jean provided to Cookie Cart and to the North Minneapolis community, we invite you to join us for a building dedication and open house event. Just as Sister Jean opened her kitchen, Cookie Cart will open their doors to welcome all who share memories with Sister Jean and who have been impacted by her.

The open house will include light refreshments, a program remembering Sister Jean, and will conclude with the formal dedication of our West Broadway bakery to Sister Jean.

Date: September 8, 2016
Time: 3 – 6 pm | Program starts at 4:30 pm, followed by the dedication of our West Broadway bakery.

The event is free and open to all who were impacted by Sister Jean. RSVPs are appreciated.

Please share this invitation with anyone who may be interested in attending.

Introducing August’s Rising Stars!

Congratulations Carter and Perciana!

Cookie Cart chooses two youth employees each month as our Rising Stars. Our program staff work 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 Carter and Perciana stand out? Read questions from an interview with them below or stop by our bakery to meet this month’s Rising Stars!

Carter

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?IMG_6076edit
3 months. My older brother worked here and he encouraged me to apply.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like working with people in the bakery and at sales events. We get to joke around and have fun while we get work done.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I just do my job and what I’m supposed to do, while doing the best that I can.

What is the secret to your success?
Hard work – you can’t come to work and just sleep or try to get away with not working.

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
My interview because it was my first interview ever and I was scared. They called me the next day when I was at the Mall of America to tell me I got the job.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Oatmeal Raisin

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Work hard and do your best to love your job. You have to have a good attitude and pump yourself up to like what you’re doing.

What does your bright future look like?
I want to be an engineer in aerodynamics. So building a rocket ship for NASA. I took an engineering class in 5th grade and I just really liked it. I just recently decided on aerodynamics because I was doing research on different types of engineering. I want to go to the U of M or UMD when I’m done with high school, then I’ll get a Master’s and Ph.D. in engineering.

Percianaperciana1

How long have you worked at Cookie Cart?
I’ve worked at Cookie Cart for 3 months.

What is your favorite thing about working at Cookie Cart?
I like working in groups, so scooping dough is fun because it bring everyone together.

Why do you think that we chose you for Rising Star?
I’m on time everyday, I do my job, I listen. I recently started doing customer service. Plus I kind of taught myself how to do customer service recently.

What is the secret to your success?
Staying focused. Smile. Don’t think about the negative, and don’t bring the bad stuff into the good stuff (aka work).

What is your most memorable moment at Cookie Cart?
I had a lot of fun at the Crafting Brighter Futures at Surly event. It was my first event and I really liked networking and talking to the people there.

What is your favorite type of cookie?
Gingersnap.

Can you share some advice on how to become Rising Star?
Come in, do your work, keep a smile on your face!

What does your bright future look like?
I want to be a crime scene investigator or do work with the FBI.

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!

3M Newsroom Shares Cookie Cart’s Story

Special thanks to our friends at 3M Newsroom for telling the story of our youth employees, organization, and mission in this video! We are ecstatic to have 3M as a partner as we expand to Saint Paul.

Summer Happenings At Cookie Cart

When school’s out, youth programming at Cookie Cart picks up! Here are some of our summer highlights:

Youth Employees

Since remodeling our location on West Broadway in North Minneapolis in 2014, we’ve set a goal to serve 200 teens each year. As of July 1, we’ve hired 128 youth – which is 64% of our goal for the year. This summer, through a partnership with STEP-UP, a nationally recognized youth employment program that trains and matches Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 with paid internships, we’re able to have more teens on staff, working as many as 30 hours per week.

 

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Crime Prevention Interns

Cookie Cart is proud to host 13 Crime Prevention Interns this summer. The Crime Prevention Interns (CPI) program has been active in Minneapolis since 2004. Under the leadership of Richard Maas, a Crime Prevention Specialist at the Minneapolis Police Department, and the young leaders in our community, the program has trained youth in North Minneapolis to relay important information on law enforcement and legislation to fellow youth and adults alike. In this era of miscommunication and conflict between law enforcement, legislators, and community members, trained young people are an indispensable conduit between the different parties involved. With training and support, CPIs are successful communicators and advocates for themselves and their communities. The CPI program is supported by alumni of the program, Jordan Area Community Council, Oasis of Love, Appetite for Change, and Cookie Cart.

Please stop by during FLOW to meet our interns and participate in a workshop they will be hosting at both 1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday, July 30th.

 

Summer Sales and Community Events

Cookie Cart teens are proud members of our community, and enjoy participating in sales and community events to refine their interpersonal and customer service skills. This summer, we have more than 30 sales events, community events, and workplace visits planned. Thanks to our friends at Luther Auto, we’ve got a stylish car to bring us to and from these events, all while increasing our visibility in the community! Watch for the Cookie Mobile at upcoming events including Guthrie’s Open Call Backyard Bash, 4th Annual Riverfront Fest, HeroSearch.org’s Cookie 5k Fun Run/Walk, and more.

New Car Ali, Josh, Arianna