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Roots uses salads as an “appetizer” to
a new world of opportunities for youth.

Roots for the Home Team® began when entrepreneurial dietitian Sue Moores, who believes that eating well should be a delight, not drudgery or a duty, was inspired by community youth garden programs. They 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, courage, confidence and a better understanding of who they are and what they care about. We work together to cultivate their personal and professional growth so they can create the future they want.

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’ Salad Up! cart has been selling (and selling out of) the teens’ salad creations near Gate 34 at Target Field. Hungry fans enjoy tantalizing and teasing offerings such as Spiced Curry Puckett and Brew Crew Caprese.

Since its inception, we envisioned Roots taking root in other major league baseball cities. The Milwaukee Brewers recently became our first expansion team. Starting in 2018, Milwaukee youth “stepped up to the plate” at Miller Park. We plan to add new ballparks and work with new communities every year.

Sprouting So Many More Possibilities

Through Roots many youth experience their first paying job outside their community. They are introduced to new networks and mentors, including the chefs who guide them as they create their garden bowls. We focus on offering unique, valuable stretch opportunities for youth participants by:

  • Giving them a view beyond their neighborhood that they might not otherwise gain.
  • Introducing them to careers, such as food science, culinary arts, product development, communications, entrepreneurism and public relations.
  • Connecting them with mentors and career ambassadors who can help them apply and nurture their talents, so they can build influential networks, follow their passions and leverage their Roots’ opportunities and experiences.
  • Growing their appetite and aspirations 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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