The Kids Who Make the Green Good.

Our Lemon Zucchini Muffin (GF) & Beet Brownie (V)

Your Gifts for Contributing
Plantable Thank You Card & Pay-it-Forward Dessert
Gift 1 + $35 Green Garden Bakery Gift Card
Gift 1 + 2 + VIP Tour (Local) or Film of Tour (Remote)
About this project

Hi everyone! This is Leensa, the 17 year old CFO of Green Garden Bakery. I take pride in being a young woman of color in finance and this is a really exciting time for our bakery! We are raising money to make our dreams a reality – creating our own commercial kitchen space in our community!

We’ve currently secured $150,000 for the commercial kitchen and are looking to raise an additional $50,000. Since we are a community-based social enterprise, we feel it is critical to invest in a production space in our community. Currently, we bake out of a shared commercial kitchen that is a 45-minute bus ride from our neighborhood. However, we have access to a kitchen in our community that can be renovated to become commercial-grade. This will allow us to have a consistent and accessible production space within walking distance to our homes. Also, when the kitchen is not being used by youth, we will invite adults in our neighborhood who are inspired by our business to use the space so they can sell their own products as a part of the business.

Green Garden Bakery is an award-winning youth-run vegetable based dessert business in the Heritage Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. We grow vegetables in our community garden, bake them into healthy vegetable-based desserts for every diet (vegan, gluten free, sugar free), and market them using sustainable practices. We sell the desserts for “pay-what-you-want” to create accessibility and donate 1/3 of our proceeds back into our community.

Lemon flower cupcakes

Typically, teens in North Minneapolis and youth of color in general have limited opportunities to be exposed to these types of entrepreneurship experiences. Without Green Garden Bakery, my team and I would not have the opportunity to have a resume filled with business and specialized skills. Green Garden Bakery continues to give back to our community by making donations. For example, we have purchased medical equipment for a peer injured in a car accident, sponsored adult exercise classes, and provided meals for families in need. Additionally, Green Garden Bakery promotes healthy food habits in creative ways and allows customers to consume a product that has much more value. As a business that cares about the environment, we have an obligation to spread environmental awareness to help save our planet. You can even plant our business cards when you are done with them to grow your own tomatoes! Green Garden Bakery is more than a business; it is an act of social change.

2017 was a powerful year for Green Garden Bakery. In addition to winning the Youth Division of the MN Cup (the largest state-wide startup competition in the country) and drastically increasing our revenue, we created a youth leadership structure which helped us secure ownership of our business and further our leadership skills. Now over 150 youth in our neighborhood are engaged in some aspect of the business. We have big dreams so the success of business scalability will be key.

GGB is seeking funding for key components for the kitchen renovation that will make the biggest impact on our business and our community. The money will go towards energy efficient commercial kitchen appliances, two mobile carts for our sales, and a ventilation hood.


We are so humbled as our dreams become a reality. A donation of any amount will make a HUGE different. Thank you for choosing to support Green Garden Bakery! We promise that we will pay the kindness forward. #bakeitforward

Learn more about us:
1st stepping-stone
Kitchen Appliances

We are remodeling our kitchen to be commercial-grade. Our business is a “green” bakery and we are hoping to raise money for eco-friendly, energy-efficient kitchen appliances. This aligns with our Mission and will help us save on long-term energy expenses by investing in the proper items now.

Thanks so much for helping us reach this stepping-stone!
2nd stepping-stone
Mobile Bike Carts

Many of Green Garden Bakery sales are done at various Farmers Markets and pop-ups throughout the Minneapolis area. We would like to design two custom-built carts that attach to bicycles and can easily be transported to our markets. Currently, we have a cart that we push many city blocks at 6 AM to the Farmers Market. We have a busy season ahead of us and often have two simultaneous sales on opposite ends of the city. I think we can all agree that two bike carts would be a much better option! Additionally, when the bikes aren’t being used at sales we can provide delivery to our customers who order online. Bicycle transportation also keeps our business eco-friendly.

3rd stepping-stone
Ventilation Hood

Though it might not be the most glamorous feature, in order for our kitchen space to have proper ventilation we need to invest in a vent hood. This is a large cost of our kitchen remodel but would ensure that as we grow and expand our business we will not be limited to selling only baked goods. Additionally, this will allow community members to use our space for their own food entrepreneurship endeavors utilizing a stove range. We know that an investment in the kitchen is really an investment in our neighborhood and would have a large impact in the livelihood of many.

Who is Green Garden Bakery
Leensa Ahmed

Leensa is a junior at St. Louis Park High School and already taking college classes at MCTC. She has lived in Heritage Park for 12 years and is the oldest of 5 siblings. Leensa’s Quote: “From helping build this business I have learned entrepreneurship skills, public speaking, and how to advocate and speak up for myself and what I believe in. I want to create a legacy so that other youth, like my four younger siblings, have the opportunity to gain these experiences. One customer said “You guys are SO unstoppable, super mature, motivated and wildly creative. You guys are more buttoned up than most adults I know”. As a young black, muslim, woman all the odds are against me but I’m proving anyone who doubts us wrong, I’m a kickass boss.”

Maya Gray
Entrepreneurship Chair

Maya is 16 years old sophomore at Southwest High School. She has been a part of Green Garden Bakery since she was 13 years old and has gotten both her younger siblings involved. At the young age of 15 Maya presented to the Board of Directors for J.P. Morgan Chase and helped win the MN Cup Youth Division, which is the largest statewide entrepreneurship competition. Maya’s Quote: “We have had great success so far and we are not taking any breaks. Green Garden Bakery has proven it works, our latest five star review on our facebook page (we have a 5 out 5 star rating by the way) stated, The baked goods are delicious and most importantly - the people making them are rising stars in our community and deserve our support and respect. Keep up the great work!” Every customer we meet can attest to our drive and it’s impossible to forget the kids that make the green good.”

Jacobi Simmons
Social Media Specialist

Jacobi is an 18 year old recent graduate from Patrick Henry High School of North Minneapolis. Jacobi is the first person in his family to graduate high school. He loves music, technology and wants to pursue a career in music production. Jacobi built GGB’s website from scratch with no prior computer or website design classes. He is a proud example of a young, black man in North Minneapolis who is leading the way for others.

Your Gifts for Contributing
Contribution of $25 or more
Plantable Thank You Card & Pay-it-Forward Dessert

For your generous donation you’ll receive a plantable thank-you card handwritten by one of our young entrepreneurs. After you read the card, you can plant it in your garden or planter to grow tomatoes of your own! We encourage you to harvest them green to make delicious green tomato cake!

We will also donate a baked veggie dessert in your honor to an organization that has made a positive impact in our community. You’ll receive an email with a survey outlining 4 organizations and you can choose where we’ll send the dessert.

99 contributors
Contribution of $100 or more
Gift 1 + $35 Green Garden Bakery Gift Card

Would you like a party box of desserts? How about a youth-designed t-shirt and our signature green tomato cake and beet brownie? For your generous donation you will receive a $35 e-gift card for a variety of goods listed on our website.

*Please note that we are only able to mail our merchandise. If you’d like to redeem the gift card for veggie desserts you’ll have to place an online order and pick them up in Minneapolis. Alternatively, gift cards can also be re-gifted to a local charity.

38 contributors
Contribution of $250 or more
Gift 1 + 2 + VIP Tour (Local) or Film of Tour (Remote)

Get an interactive tour of the food systems in North Minneapolis facilitated by a young GGB entrepreneur. We’ll have lunch at Breaking Bread Café and will end the day enjoying veggie dessert in our own Green Garden Bakery. You will also be honored by being listed as a Founder on the wall of the new kitchen.

If you live outside of the Twin Cities, we are happy to send you a filmed tour and an extra $35 e-gift card.

23 contributors