Community Connections – Student Engagement

Education is at the heart of our mission at Lakewinds. Whether it’s exposing students to the organic food business or mobilizing young people around food-based issues, we’re proud to use our know-how and resources to uplift the communities we call home. Two recent projects show what a difference it can make.


Chanhassen High School DECA Program 

DECA is an international association that introduces students to opportunities in marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. When Chanhassen High School’s DECA chapter entered a competition to raise awareness around suburban hunger, Lakewinds saw a chance to help. Our stores became a staging ground for a series of events to support a local food shelf. Students’ efforts included a pop-up shop at Lakewinds, the “CANhassen food drive,” and a fundraiser with an ice golf course. Chanhassen store manager Katie Lewsader mentored students in marketing, planning, and communication to make the events successful. The DECA team finished 6th in the state competition but scored even higher at home, where they gave the food shelf a boost and brought visibility to an important cause.


Minnetonka High School VANTAGE Program

In the VANTAGE program, students work as a team to sole real-world problems under the direction of teachers and local professionals. For their latest project, Lakewinds gave VANTAGE students in Minnetonka the opportunity to explore data-driven marketing. Using raw data from Lakewinds stores, students analyzed customer locations, buying habits, and social media interactions to create recommendations for Lakewinds’ marketing strategies. The result was a lot of learning, experience delivering a professional presentation, and some smart ideas for increasing sales.