Through Finding Your Roots Curriculum and the #SaladUP cart, Roots youth discover and stretch their abilities through real-world work experience. Roots participants build on their own strengths to create the future they want for themselves.

Leadership Development

Every year a new group of curious youth joins the ROOTS team, learn their leadership style, and its strengths, then gain opportunities to practice their skills.


youth promoted to leadership positions.

6 Youth Advisory Council

4 Youth Facilitators

4 Cart Captains

“I had a wonderful time and so enjoyed these kids, their enthusiasm, passion, and eagerness to learn. It truly was a breath of fresh air in my day.”

— Chef Coach

Entrepreneurial Mindset

From recipe design to the curriculum to real-work experience, participants are invited to create, innovate and evaluate all aspects of our program as they develop an understanding of vision, passion and purpose.


Ideation sessions empowered youth to learn from & create alongside celebrity chefs.

5 Youth Teams

5 Celebrity Chef Coaches

5 Innovative Salads

“I had a wonderful time and so enjoyed these kids, their enthusiasm, passion, and eagerness to learn. It truly was a breath of fresh air in my day.”

— Chef Coach

Future & Career Planning

A goal without a plan is just a wish. ROOTS workshops ask youth to explore their hopes and dreams, then work alongside them to clear pathways toward realizing them.



made more than


“Before I became involved with Roots, I wasn’t really interested in entrepreneurship, but it has opened up that world to me and I’d like to explore that idea more.”

- Youth Advisory Council Member


Salads prepared and distributed in 2022 to Twins’ fans and Open Arms clients living with terminal illnesses.

Chef Lachelle Cunningham, Founder of Healthy Roots

A dynamic force on the Twin Cities food scene

Chef Lachelle is known for cooking globally inspired comfort food that thwarts unhealthy stereotypes and fuses in global flavors. She began her culinary career by launching Chelles’ Kitchen in 2012 and soon became known for her work as the founding Executive Chef of Breaking Bread Cafe (2015) in North Minneapolis, where she received many accolades for her food creativity and social justice work.

Chef Yia Vang, Founder of Union Hmong Kitchen

Every dish tells a story

Using seasonal ingredients with local culture and family traditions, Chef Yia brings Hmong flavors and invites people to change how they think about food in each bite. Yia is the host of TPT’s Relish series and has been featured on National Geographic and CNN’s United Shades of America. Among other accolades, he was the cover story of the May 2020 issue of “Bon Appetit” magazine. Yia was also named MSP Magazine’s “Chef of the Year 2019″ and was recently voted “Best Chef 2020” in City Pages “Best-of” issue.

Chef Bertrand Weber, Director for Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary & Wellness Services

A passion for well-being and the environment

Chef Bertrand started in the Hopkins School District, MN in 2003. He is currently the Vice Chair of the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board, the Lead District of School Food Focus Midwest, Chair of SNA Major City Committee and Advisory Board Member of the Chef Ann Foundation Lunch Box.

Jametta Raspberry, Founder of House of Gristle & Executive Director of ROOTS

Anything but boring food for over 16 years

Award-winning chef-disruptor Jametta Raspberry has worked in some of the most-lauded kitchens in Minneapolis and founded House of Gristle. She’s known for bold flavors, flawless technique, a voracious curiosity, and a drive to teach. Whether crafting private meals for high-profile clients, forging teams inside corporate kitchens, or hosting House of Gristle events, she is always the star. Jametta was just recognized by the Charlie Awards, Minneapolis’ own food world version of the Oscars.

Chef Nettie Colón, Founder of Red Hen Gastrolab

Always up for the pop-up challenge

Whether on a farm in Wisconsin, in a gallery after-hours or from the back of her car, she packs in flavors inspired by the many places she’s sharpened her chef knives from Key West to Provincetown, MA, from Europe to the Yucatan Peninsula. And if you tell her it can’t be done, she’ll prove you wrong. Equal parts culinary drifter and octopus whisperer, she is as much at home cooking in the middle of the jungle as she is in her Minneapolis Chinchorro. None of us know where she’ll pop up next.

Special Thanks to our partners & supporters!

We’re grateful to these organizations and individuals for supporting our mission and making significant contributions to help seed youth success.


Financial Supporters:

“It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to build on what Sue has created. Roots is doing incredibly important work, and as a chef partner, I’ve had the chance to see firsthand how impactful the programming is in developing our community’s future leaders.”

- Chef Jametta Raspberry
Executive Director

Get Involved with Roots

Step up to the plate and become a ROOTS Youth, Supporter or Mentor.

Become a Roots Food Partner or Program Sponsor

Are you an Urban Farm or food supplier? Are you a retail business interested in selling ROOTS salads? Would you like to serve Roots salads at your next event?

Let's Talk

Volunteer as a Youth Mentor or Chef Coach

Would you join one of our workshops to discuss your professional career experience and pathway? Are you a chef who would share your talent by guiding ROOTS youth as they create their salad recipes?



Simply put, money makes many experiences more attainable. Roots for the Home Team does everything in its power to clear pathways to success for our youth. Will you join our team to make these bright futures all the easier to reach?

Donate Now

Become a ROOTS Youth

All Roots for the Home Team participants connect with our organization through Minneapolis and St. Paul urban farms. Are you a teen interested in joining Roots for the Home Team? Check out our youth Garden Program partners.

Community Garden Partners