The story of Sweetgreen begins with a trio of college seniors from Georgetown University. They are Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. While in college, they often found that there was a lack of a place to eat healthy foods in an easy and fun manner. This gave them the idea to start their own restaurant which would eventually be called Sweetgreen.
The chain has a very interesting beginning and one that is typical of many American success stories. While studying at Georgetown University, the three students were renting an apartment from a landowner that was also the owner of a 560-foot tavern that they coveted to launch their own restaurant venture.
After daily calls, Nathaniel Ru and his friends managed to convince the landowner to give them a shot and let them lease her property to start a business.
The original proposed name for their restaurant was Greens. They eventually changed the name to Sweetgreen because they believe that everything you do should be done in a sweet manner. What Ru means by sweet a manner is that the service at Sweetgreen’s should be polite and courteous. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ekeg45fe/nicolas-jammet-nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-co-founders-sweetgreen-262627/
Sweetgreen’s specialty is that it serves fresh and healthy foods that are made with local ingredients whenever possible. Eat fresh, eat local and eat healthy can be said to be a motto of Sweetgreen.
What started out as humble restaurant in D.C. has now expanded to well over 20 different restaurants in California, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
Many major cities such as Boston, New York and Philadelphia have multiple Sweetgreen locations. The growth of Sweetgreen has led to some concern that the restaurant will just became another chain like Subway or Chipotles. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/
To counter the idea that Sweetgreen is just another chain, the company is trying to make each location as unique and independent as possible says Nathaniel Ru. This includes incorporating local architecture and themes from the cities where each Sweetgreen restaurant is based. It also includes working with local farmers in the area.
In fact, Sweetgreen tries to source its ingredients from local farmers whenever possible to build a connection with the community that begins all the way in the farm fields, to the store and beyond.
Nathaniel Ru presently serves as one of the Co-CEOs of Sweetgreen. He graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science degree in finance while he and his partners were launching Sweetgreen in D.C. He is based in New York City and oversees the East Coast operations of Sweetgreen.