Today, almost all students in Georgetown knows about Sweetgreen. Could be a post-workout bite, a quick snack in between classes or better the “Destination DC” aspect of the usually unadventurous freshmen diet. However, six years ago, the only people who knew about this snack were its founders, Nathaniel Ru, Jonathan Neman along with Nicolas Jammet. At the start of their senior year, the three entrepreneurs began discussing the limited options for healthy as well as affordable food in Georgetown.
Shortly after that, they laid down their vision and formulated a business plan. Interestingly, Ru, Jammet, and Neman didn’t have any business experience at all. However, their lack of experience emerged to be the key to Sweetgreen’s triumph, as it presented an opportunity to tackle every challenge with a fresh set of ideas.
While reflecting their values, the three founders also made sure they incorporate community services into the company. They launched the program, Sweetgreens in School which focused on educating children about healthy living as well as nutrition through several hands-on activities and seminars. The program has graduated from a weekly endeavor in local schools into a chain of workshops across New York City, Virginia, the District of Columbia as well as Maryland. Currently, the program has attracted the participation of over 20,000 children and is still continuing to penetrate to other cities.
Another program they incorporated in their company is Sweetlife which entails food and music festival held annually. Most people embraced their idea positively, and Sweetlife has expanded aggressively. Other Sweetgreen sites around the country are now holding similar events.
According to the three entrepreneurs, the glamor of the success is not the most important thing. They say their main aim is to inspire all those who intend to live the healthiest lifestyles. They believe that this product, a delicious and healthy salad, is the embodiment of their brand as well as their values.
About Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru is a US-born entrepreneur and is the Co-Founder as well as the Co-CEO of Sweetgreen, a fast casual kitchen with its primary focus on sustainability and resident sourcing. Ru was born and raised in California. He graduated from Georgetown University where he specialized in (McDonough School of Business) with a degree in Finance in the year 2007. While at the University, he met fellow Sweetgreen Co-Founders Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman.
Nathaniel and his co-founders started Sweetgreen in 2007 by opening their first branch in Georgetown, after they had trouble getting a healthy joint to eat. Nathaniel has later been recognized as a remarkable innovator in food and business industry. Such recognition includes the Inc.’s “30 Under 30”, Food & Wine’s,“ 40Big Food Thinkers 40 and Forbes’ “30 Under 30.