Back in May, we brought you the story of Green Garden Bakery, the entirely youth-run farm and bakery biz overseen by some of the hardest-working kids anywhere. The mission-driven teens run a community garden, put those plants into cookies and cupcakes and muffins, and sell them at area farmers markets and pop-ups with the express goal of making it easier for their neighborhood to eat healthier.
“Let's help these incredible north Minneapolis teens launch their commercial kitchen,” we urged you then. They hoped to raise enough to open one in Heritage Park (an FDA designated food desert) that would have a greenhouse and storefront. The space would save them the 45-minute bus ride to their shared kitchen, and would also be open to the community.
We thought theirs was an impressive, wide-spanning mission -- and clearly you thought so too. Because you showed your support financially, to the tune of $200,000.
"I remember the first $10 bill we got at our very first sale back in 2014 at the Midtown Global Market Green Fair," says agriculture chair Jasmine Salter, age 17. "I thought I was rich."
"Sometimes we just need to take a step back to truly soak it all in … not only did we finalize our commercial kitchen renovation with groundbreaking set for September but we have had the opportunity to be featured on national NBC Nightly News,” adds entrepreneurship chair Maya Gray, 16.
In a single month, as the fundraiser wrapped, she and her fellow GG organizers (there are roughly 100 of them) presented at the Central Latino Center, the MN Children's Museum, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, UMN’s Seminar on the Holocaust, One Water Summit, and Lutheran Family Service. They attended the BestPrep business camp at St. John's, recorded a mini-documentary with SPNN, and appeared as extras in a BlueCross BlueShield commercial.
Told you they were driven.
Of the funds raised, $50,000 were from the community and $150,000 came from an exceedingly generous anonymous donor. (Last fall, the organization took home a $10,000 prize in the youth division of the Minnesota Cup entrepreneur sweepstakes, plus a bonus $1,000 for impressing judges with the best pitch.) Construction could start as soon as this month.
"I can't believe that our community and the world (17 states and three countries donated to our campaign) just helped us raise $200,000, Salter says. "This experience has taught me so much and there is no more ceiling to my dreams."
You can still donate if you haven't yet. (Or if you have, and just want to throw in an additional boost.)