Grantee Spotlight: Green Garden Bakery

The 2021 George Family Foundation Annual Report is available now! This spotlight is one of a handful of short features celebrating the extraordinary work the Foundation’s grantees are accomplishing.

Green Garden Bakery is an award-winning business started by and for youth in North Minneapolis. Using produce from a community garden, they developed vegetable-based desserts and began selling products online and at farmer’s markets.

Today, these youth entrepreneurs work together to prepare and sell products, create marketing plans, and pursue business and personal goals that include giving back to community: one-third of Green Garden Bakery revenue is donated to address a local need identified by the participants.

2021 was an incredibly difficult year for Green Garden Bakery’s youth leaders. Along with navigating the complex challenges of the pandemic, they experienced tremendous loss when two young people in their community — including one of Green Garden Bakery’s founders — were killed. 

Autumn Merrick, one of the founders of Green Garden Bakery, was tragically killed as a bystander to violence in Minneapolis in October 2021. Autumn had recently graduated from high school and was a beautiful young woman with a bright future. Everyone loved her sweet smile, loud personality, and oversized glasses. The youth leaders of Green Garden Bakery created new products to raise funds for Autumn’s family, incorporated her siblings and cousins in the product creation, and decided to name their new commercial kitchen in Autumn’s honor.

 “These youth leaders demonstrated the depth of community, connectiveness, and leadership they have developed through Green Garden Bakery. Program alumni reunited with current youth leaders, provided daily community meals and healing circles, and helped raise funds for the victims’ families.” — Elana Dahlberg, Senior Project Manager, Green Garden Bakery and Urban Strategies, Inc.