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

2015 Activity Goals

  • 200 teens will participate in 30,000 hours of hands-on work and classroom experience
  • 90 young people will participate in customer service training
  • 90 youth will be exposed to financial literacy sessions
  • 85% of the 200 teens will participate in activities with caring adults such as: working together in the bakery, networking activities, informational interviews, work place visits and leadership projects
  • 90 youth will complete the 360 Degree program
  • 50 young people will work on achieving an industry skills certification
  • Teens will participate in 110 community engagement activities

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.