Kidtrepreneurs: Northside youth reflect on an enterprising summer
From clothing to ice cream to internationally recognized hotdog brands, youth brought a flurry of businesses to the Northside this summer.
In August, North News' small business reporter Cirien Saadeh talked with a few of them about the inspiration for their entrepreneurship.
GREEN GARDEN BAKERY: Jasmine Salter, age 17, is the Urban Agriculture and Sustainability Chair of Green Garden Bakery. A senior at Patrick Henry, Salter describes the business as a youth-run bakery developed and build by Northside youth, including Salter, “driv- en by a passion to change the world one delicious bakery item at a time.” At Green Garden Bakery, youth grow vegetables and then turn those vegetables into baked goods. They use a pay what you want model for those outside North Minneapolis and don’t charge residents of North Minneapolis. Their goal is to raise money and then use a third of what they raise to support a local initiative and the rest to support the bakery and pay the youth staff. “It started as a fundraiser for one of our friends who was injured in a car accident a few years back. Our goal was to make $500, but we ended up making $1500, which ended up being the base of our business plan,” said Salter.
Salter says the project has taught her entrepreneurship, public speaking, and business management. Salter notes that there are approximately 150 youth from across North Minneapolis involved in all aspects of the bakery, ranging from Kindergarten through age 12.
Bakery items can be bought via the business’ website.
ISIS & OYA ICE CREAM: There is an old fashioned ice cream truck in North Minneapolis and it's run by two sisters, Isis (11) and Oya (7) Bridewell. The sisters dreamt of selling ice cream, so their dad bought a truck and drives it for them while they sell pre-packaged and by-the-scoop ice cream.
“We’ve been wanting to have an ice cream business for a while, maybe the last two years,” said Isis. “The idea came from us and our dad,” added Oya.
You can typically find Isis and Oya’s Ice Cream Truck at the intersection of 47th Ave. and Aldrich Ave. You can also nd them on Facebook and request them for special events, including birthday parties.
YUM YUM BROWNIES: Jerilyn Sheppheard, 17, is the brains behind YumYum Brownies, a gourmet brownie business. Sheppheard brought the idea to life last summer. Sheppheard is not a Northside resident, but she can be found selling the brownies, which she handmakes, at the Camden Farmers Market every Thursday through the end of the market season. She will be attend- ing St. Paul college in the fall and is pub- lishing a book: How I Started a Business at 15 Years Old.
Sheppheard says owning a business is a lot of work for a young person. “Some people don’t take us seriously, because we’re young. The paperwork, taxes, li- censes, I never took a class on any of it,” says Sheppheard, whose sister Seanna works alongside her. Sheppheard also employs a team of young girls, ranging from age 11-15, to help out at their popup shops and events. She hopes to eventually open a brick and mortar space.
NIAEVERYGIRL: After Nia LeClair, 8, went to a depart- ment store with her mother and noticed all the little girls’ clothes that depicted white faces, she decided to be part of a change. Wanting to see girls of color on girls clothing and accessories, she and her mother launched “Niaeverygirl.” Nia is the inspiration for the designs, which her mother brings to life. They sell back- packs, shirts, dresses, skirts, tote bags, pencil cases/cosmetic bags, and hats for “every girl.”
“It makes me feel so excited to see my ideas getting shared,” said Nia. Nia is not a Northside resident, but she sells at FLOW and has developed quite a follow- ing amongst Northside youth.
CHEYENNE: Cheyenne Powe is 12 years old. A student at Hmong International Academy, Cheyenne is a recording artist and songwriter, working with Ruck B Music. A hip - hop and rap artist, Powe has spent the summer developing her style and recording her own music and background vocals for other musicians. She’s got big dreams.
“It’s a big responsibility,” said Powe. “I want to get my mom of out the hood. I want to buy my mom a mansion and my dad a nice car.” Powe is a student at Hmong International Academy. She can be heard singing at school this year and, maybe in the future, around North Minneapolis and beyond.
MR. FAULKNER'S OLD FASHIONED HOT DOG STAND: Jaequan Faulkner is 13 years old, but the teenage hotdog whiz kid needs no introduction. Faulkner opened up his hot dog stand in 2016, took a break in 2017, and then burst back on the scene this summer due to a viral social media post about his business. When a com- plaint was led against him with the City of Minneapolis (he didn’t have a permit), City employees rallied around him and helped him relaunch his stand bigger and better than ever. Global media picked up the story, business boomed, and Faulkner even got a visit from the famed Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.
“I used to see people do lemonade and other stuff, but my uncle always used to tell me to be different, so I asked him if I could use his old hot dog rotisserie machine,” said Faulkner. “People have seen the stand and they have wanted to support it.”
Faulkner says too many people think kids in North Minneapolis cannot be successful. He believes his own achievement and the community sup- port he has received is a sign of the Northside’s power.
“Being over North, being raised over North, people think ‘he ain’t going to be nothin’,’ but when you do something and you do it inside North, people think ‘we ain’t going to be there, because it’s all negative,’ but Northsiders will come over and buy some hot dogs. Good things do come from Northside, and this is one.”
Faulkner does have plans to sell hot dogs during the school year, but he does not yet have a schedule. Follow him on Facebook for updates.