Welcome back... SaladUP!

The return of the SaladUP! concession cart is a welcome sight at Twins’ games, providing ROOTS teens the opportunity for real-life experience with foodservice sales, hospitality and customer service. Loyal fans have welcomed them with open arms – and raised forks.

Fans have missed the cart and the the youth.

“Where are the kids with the salad cart?” That’s the question that fans were asking Target Field ushers during the first Twins’ games of the 2021 season. When those ushers brought the question to Dave Horsman, vice president of ballpark operations for the club, he assured them that as soon as capacity restrictions allowed for it, the SaladUP! concession cart would again be located by Gate 34, selling teen-created salad creations with produce grown in local community gardens.

“When ROOTS was able to return for Sunday games, I made sure to let those ushers know, since many of them were working in season-ticket areas, and had gotten to know the fans who were missing the cart,” Horsman said. “I know that for some people, it’s all about the food, but I have to say that many ROOTS’ customers appreciate the energy and brightness that the teens bring to their work. They make people’s days better just by interacting with them, and that certainly fits in with the kind of experience we want to create here.”

It’s really fun to be back at Target Field, says Keilyn Hernandez, a youth participant from Pillsbury United Waite House. “It was like riding a bike – you just jumped right back into talking with fans and describing who made the salads, how Roots works and why Roots is good.” Fans have been great, she adds. “Lots of people tell us they are excited we’re back, and I am too.”

Horsman, who serves on the ROOTS board of directors, appreciates the way ROOTS trains youth in entrepreneurial skills. “Restaurants and culinary jobs are the epitome of that spirit in action,” he said. “Getting to work with professional chefs to create their salad recipes is so great, and then getting hands-on experience with the people who want to buy their creations is really valuable. And the curriculum they complete through the University of Minnesota is just world-class.

“I’d encourage fans to stop by the cart next time they’re at a game and interact with the young people. I promise they’ll enjoy the interaction just as much as the salad. There’s so much pride and love that goes into every bowl.”