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This dietitian’s creative vision
uses salads as an “appetizer” to
a new world of opportunities for multicultural youth.

Roots for the Home Team® is the brainchild of entrepreneurial dietitian Sue Moores, who believes that eating well should be a delight, not drudgery or a duty. Sue was inspired by youth garden programs, which teach kids to appreciate and enjoy food by immersing them in its creation. She decided to take the concept a few steps further into the food chain, and have those same youth turn their produce into delicious salads, then work selling those salads to a bigger audience. In the process, they gain culinary skills, sales and marketing experience, and a heaping helping of confidence and courage.

Expanding Our Reach

For our first sales venue, Sue chose her favorite summer sport, baseball. We partnered with the Minnesota Twins, and since 2012, the Roots’ Garden Goodies cart has been selling the kids’ salad creations to hungry fans near Gate 34 at Target Field with tantalizing and teasing offerings such as Spiced Curry Puckett and Slawsome Slugger. It’s no wonder our salads usually sell out.

In five years, Roots has grown from annually serving ~140 youth and ~830 salads at a single venue to serving ~230 youth and ~1,600 salads at multiple venues. We expanded to sell salads at Minnesota Gopher home football games in TCF Bank Stadium, and partner with additional venues.

Sprouting So Many More Possibilities

Roots’ impact extends far beyond the kitchen. Participating youth don’t just learn culinary skills from local chefs, they’re also out in public honing their sales skills, and many experience their first paying job outside their community. Roots’ focus is on creating unique, valuable stretch opportunities for multicultural youth participants by:

  • Giving them a view beyond their neighborhood that they might not otherwise gain.
  • Exposing them to food- and business-related careers, such as food science, culinary arts, product development, communications, entrepreneurism and public relations.
  • Connecting them with mentors and new networks of people who can help them apply and nurture their talents, so they can follow their passions and leverage their Roots’ experiences.
  • Growing their appetite for vocational success.

Roots’ Recognition

2016 Inspiring Women Award
The Minnesota Lynx professional women’s basketball team honored Roots founder Sue Moores for inspiring, motivating and encouraging others. 

2016 Medallion Award
The Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics bestowed its highest honor on Roots founder Sue Moores for her leadership and outstanding contributions to the profession.

2015 Goodness for Gardens Award
We were delighted to be among eight programs across the country recognized by Just BARE Chicken for garden-related programs focused on youth development.

2015 Mary Abbott Hess Award for Nutrition Innovation
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation honored Roots founder Sue Moores with its award recognizing innovative food and culinary efforts.

2015 Opal Apple Youth Make a Difference Award
The folks at Opal Apple recognized Roots with its annual award to an organization in which youth take leadership roles in the initiative. Roots youth certainly do take the reins: they grow the produce at our youth garden partners, create the salad recipes, market their salads via samples and sell the salads at sports venues.

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