MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some Minneapolis food buffs are a few thousand dollars away from making their dream come true.

While they’re talented bakers, they’re not yet professionals. After all, they’re teenagers at Green Garden Bakery.

The carrot pumpkin bread, the beet brownie, the lemon zucchini muffins, jalapeno chocolate chip cookies; those are just a few of the bakery’s offerings.

Green Garden has an extensive vegan menu, and the teenage workers tour farmer’s markets and do pop-up events.

“We use the vegetables from our garden, everything’s local,” said 17-year-old Leensa Ahmed, who runs the operation.

She and her staff are teens who live in Heritage Park.

“A lot of people view Minneapolis as not a safe place and not a place where people get a lot of healthy, nutritious food, but we try to challenge those stereotypes,” she said.

They got the idea after putting together a bake sale for a sick friend.

Business is booming, and just like their vegetables, they want to grow.

“We want to share our desserts in grocery stores, coffee shops, around the nation,” Ahmed said.

Elana Dahlberg is their adult advisor.

“Their parents haven’t had experiences with businesses, many of them are the first who are going to graduate in their families and yet they’ve built an award-winning bakery that’s being recognized kind of across the country now,” she said.

They’ve raised more than $150,000 in support, hoping for $11,000 more so they can build a dream kitchen and portable store.

“Just because we are youth doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish more or just as much as an adult would,” Ahmed said.

The students like to plant their ideas elsewhere, too. In a few months, they’ll head to Ferguson, Missouri.

If you’d like to help these gardeners and bakers reach their goal, click here. In the meantime, you can catch them at farmer’s markets.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield


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