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.