Cookie Cart provides teens 15 to 18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban nonprofit bakery.

Goals and Outcomes

2014 Activity Goals

  • 145 teens will participate in 22,500 hours of hands-on work experience
  • 60 young people will complete 2,912 classroom hours of advanced job skills training through the 360° program
  • 52 youth will complete 1,456 hours of classroom-based customer service training
  • Youth will attend over 100 community and sales events to begin applying their newly learned customer service skills in practical environments
  • 70 youth will complete 1,400 hours of classroom financial literacy sessions
  • • 30 youth will work on achieving a skills certification including the National Career Readiness Certification

Long-term Youth Involvement Outcomes

  • Connectedness to new communities
  • Strengthened future goal orientation
  • Improved interpersonal skills
  • Enhanced critical thinking skills
  • Increased employment readiness skills


Heavenly Beginnings

The idea was simple. North Minneapolis teenagers needed a safe and engaging place to spend their time. The streets offered young people crime, violence and gang involvement, but one woman, Sister Jean Thuerauf decided to offer North Minneapolis teens something different. Something special.

Cookie Cart Founder Sister Jean
Cookie Cart Founder Sister Jean

She saw the need to engage the neighborhood’s young people in educational and empowering activities. So Sister Jean started inviting the community’s teenagers into her kitchen for help with schoolwork and to learn to bake cookies. It didn’t take long for there to be more teenagers than there was room in her tiny kitchen! Something had to be done.

In 1988, Sister Jean’s vision for a safe, secure, creative and engaging space for North Minneapolis’ youth was formalized and registered as Cookie Cart, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. 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.