Our Mission, Vision, and Values
Cookie Cart teaches life, leadership, and employment skills to teens of color
through on-the-job and classroom experiences in nonprofit bakeries.
We envision equitable communities where Cookie Cart alumni thrive and lead.
The potential of every young person
We believe in the innate strength of and possibilities for every young person we engage. We lift up their talents and support their future as tomorrow’s leaders.
Equity and opportunity
We advocate for a world that is just and fair, where all people have opportunity and a strong sense of value and belonging. We believe our presence and the benefits youth gain in our program are essential contributors to equitable communities. We support sustained action to dismantle systemic racism.
The power of relationships
We believe trusting relationships make it possible for youth to prosper and for communities to be places of connection and support. We seek to be a trustworthy employer and neighborhood partner.
We seek excellence in all we do, holding ourselves accountable with compassion and care. We treat mistakes and questions as opportunities for learning and growth.
It’s More than Just a Cookie…
It’s a First Job Experience.
Cookie Cart is the Twin Cities’ leader in youth social enterprise. Our bakeries are classrooms, where hundreds of teens learn and build real world skills that prepare them for successful futures. We combine paid work experience with workshops to promote career and leadership development for youth. And we do all this while operating two commercial bakeries that make incredible
cookies made with real, quality ingredients!
The idea was simple. Sister Jean Thuerauf invited neighborhood youth into her kitchen for help with schoolwork and to bake cookies. It didn’t take long for there to be more young people than there was room in her kitchen!
In 1988, with help from the community, Sister Jean’s vision for a creative and engaging space for North Minneapolis’ youth was registered as Cookie Cart, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Our Executive Director
Cynthia Fraction came to Cookie Cart in September 2022. A leader and experienced professional in corporate and higher education with success in training and developing underrepresented populations using her expertise in equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. Cynthia’s past work managing company-wide projects, cross-departmental teams, and new initiatives made her a prime candidate to take the lead at Cookie Cart!
After gaining experience advocating and empowering underserved populations in higher education for many, many years, Cynthia comes to Cookie Cart with wisdom, assertiveness, and a powerful voice for our young leaders. As a Twin Cities native, Cookie Cart played a role in Cynthia’s aspirations to excel as a dynamic career professional. Cynthia works with excellence and determination to reach higher, not for herself, but for the young minds she has been privileged to advocate for.