Cookies for a good cause are coming to St. Paul

What's better than a cookie? A cookie that also helps teens.
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St. Paul is about to get a very special bakery.

Cookie Cart is a Minnesota nonprofit focused on helping teens. About 200 teenagers ages 15-18 work for the bakery each year, and for a lot of them, it's their very first job experience. They receive hands-on training, career and life skills classes, and part time jobs up to 30 hours per week.

The idea is to empower young people and help them develop work, life, and leadership skills before they're sent out into the world.

Until now, Cookie Cart has operated out of one bakery in North Minneapolis. But later this month, they'll break ground on a second location in St. Paul – and you're invited.

The event marks the start of construction at Cookie Cart's upcoming new location (946 Payne Ave. in St. Paul) – they'll be renovating a 1950s grocery store, the Star Tribune says. Attendees will take part in a tour of the space, and there will be a short program featuring students and community leaders including Mayor Chris Coleman, followed by a light breakfast next door at Brunson's Pub.

It's Thursday, June 29, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

It's free to the public, though there'll be an opportunity to donate to the cause if you wish. RSVP to the event page by June 23 if you'd like to go.

More about Cookie Cart

It all started with a woman named Sister Jean Thuerauf. She wanted to help keep teenagers in her North Minneapolis community off the streets – so she invited them into her kitchen.

She helped them with schoolwork and taught them how to bake cookies. Eventually the number of teens outgrew her kitchen, and she registered Cookie Cart as a nonprofit in 1988. Since 1996, the bakery has had a storefront on West Broadway Avenue in the heart of North Minneapolis.

Today, they sell all different kinds of cookies in store and online, and even at Target Field. The teenage staffers are trained in several of the bakery's operations, from cookie production to customer service.

Construction on the St. Paul bakery is expected to finish up in early 2018, the Pioneer Press says, and the new space will help provide job opportunities for another 100 teenagers from area schools.

Meet some of their "Rising Stars" here. And you can donate or sign up to volunteer here.

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