Jenny Johns
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Roots for the Home Team

 
 

Roots for the Home Team

Teens Turn Lettuce Into Life Skills

Are we missing out on hidden talent? While we do a pretty good job at finding our future sports stars, we don’t do as well at identifying those with the potential of creating the next breakthrough product, service or invention.

Too many teens never realize their potential as leaders, educators, scientists, and innovators due to inequality and a lack of access. Minnesota-based Roots for the Home Team® (Roots for short) is working directly with youth to empower them to change their futures, one fork at a time.

 


Roots is the brainchild of entrepreneurial dietitian Sue Moores, who believes that eating well should be a delight, not a duty. Inspired by urban youth garden programs that teach kids to appreciate and enjoy food by immersing them in its creation, Sue took the concept a few steps up the food chain.

Those same young gardeners now turn their lettuce into life skills, while working to share their stories with a bigger audience. In the process, they gain culinary, sales and marketing experience, as well as a heaping helping of confidence and courage.

Photographed by Dennis Becker, styled by Lisa Golden Schroeder.

 
Diversity leads to variety. Variety leads to discovery. Discovery leads to change.
 

We worked with Roots to grow awareness and expand understanding around the program’s impact. At a minimum, the re-branding needed to appeal to three audiences: ballpark consumers who buy the salads, youth who participate in the program, and potential donors to keep the program viable. But it went further: lifting spirits, improving visuals, and aligning the mission to match the elevated food options being created.

 
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The original 2012 Roots’ cart was reimagined, with a new retail-focused design strategy. In order to show off the salad options of the day, menu cards were moved to the top of the cart and placed on a magnetic strip, so they could be easily changed. The body of the cart now has eye-catching mix of salad and key ingredient imagery, and photography of the young chefs.

There is SO much more competition on the food front at Target Field. Our cart became much more noticeable and intriguing to customers, many people came up to the cart asking if we were “new” to Target Field. With the cart redesign, customers could immediately see what we had to offer and how delicious the salads are.
— Sue Moores
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Buying local tastes better because of fresh ingredients combined with local flavor. And buying local feels better because it’s an opportunity to invest in local business and talent, directly promoting growth in our communities. Fresh from the neighborhood garden to Target Field. Roots is where radical ideas, diverse backgrounds, unique approaches, and innovative programming come together to make surprisingly good salads.

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Since its inception, Roots for the Home Team envisioned sprouting up in other major league baseball cities. The Milwaukee Brewers recently become their first expansion team. In 2018, Milwaukee youth stepped up to the plate at Miller Park. Roots plan to add new ballparks and work with new communities – and new food options, including delicious soups for the cooler days of Spring and Fall.

See you at the ballpark, or at rootsforthehometeam.org