Demetria Fuller and Adam Pruitt co-founded BrightSide Produce, one of the nation’s only financially sustainable businesses for distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to small stores in underserved urban neighborhoods.

When Fuller and Pruitt were 16 years old (in 2014), they were concerned by the lack of healthy items in their neighborhood stores in north Minneapolis. They worked with their mentors at two local non-profits— Project Sweetie Pie and Community Table Co-op— and the Minneapolis Department of Health to diagnose the problem. BrightSide now delivers fruits and vegetables to 24 stores in north and south Minneapolis, providing store owners with a distribution option that is unavailable elsewhere in the Twin Cities or in any other metropolitan area in the United States.

In 2017, BrightSide established a second operation in San Diego, California in collaboration with San Diego State University. Fuller and Pruitt have helped forge the various partnerships involved in this operation: between youth and university students, between store owners and the delivery team, and between the university and the community.

2018 Courageous Innovator Nominees

  • Amanda LaGrange
  • Maddie Norgaard
  • Akilah Sanders-Reed
  • Halston Sleets
  • Miah Ulysse

About the Emerging Leader Category

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an individual under the age of 30 working in cutting-edge ways to build partnerships and innovative solutions to address environmental health or environmental justice challenges.