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.

Compassionate accountability

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.

Learn more about our mission, vision, and values

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!

Our History

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.

What began as a cart rolling up and down the streets of North Minneapolis, has grown into two neighborhood bakeries on West Broadway in North Minneapolis and on Payne Avenue in Saint Paul. Along the way, Sister Jean’s vision and legacy has remained our guide: to use cookies as a tool to provide hundreds of neighborhood teens with the job experience and leadership skills they need to have successful futures.

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.

Our Staff

Full of cookie lovers and community voices that are passionate about youth development and workplace accountability, our support staff has all the perfect ingredients to cook up some incredibly impactful work in North Minneapolis and East Saint Paul.

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Board

Toiné Warren


Marketing Leader, Sleep & Respiratory Care
Megan Fritz


Director of Field Sales
General Mills, Inc.
Ben Williams


Assurance Partner
James Altman
Vice President and
Deputy General Counsel, Retired
Xcel Energy
Rekik Abaineh
Bole Ethiopian Cuisine
David Adams
Charles Broadnax

DEIJ Committee Chair

Senior Vice President and Division Manager
U.S. Bank
Jolynn Fielder
Vice President – Concept Support Services
American Dairy Queen Corporation
Anthony Finnell, Jr.
Faegre Drinker
Drinal Foster

Program Committee Chair

Sr. Business Support Leader
Wells Fargo
Meg Gehlen Nodzon
Program Area Lead
GHR Foundation
Willie Harbert

Social Enterprise Committee Chair

Vice President, Motors
Dan Kinsella

Finance Committee Chair

Chief Financial Officer, Retired
Philomena Satre

Governance Committee Chair

Diversity & Inclusion and Strategic External Relationships
Land O’Lakes
Karen Stevens

Advancement Committee Chair

Director, Strategic Sourcing
Jennifer Willner
JW Regulatory Consulting LLC

Cookie Cart Annual Reports and Financials

Annual Reports
View 2020
Download 2019
Download 2018
Annual Financial Audits
Download 2020
Download 2019
Download 2018
Annual Tax Form 990
Download 2019
Download 2018
Download 2017