Category: Food Industry


Almost every student in Georgetown is aware of Sweetgreen either for snacks or quick lunch.

Sweetgreen was founded by Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman who came together after realizing discussing the urge to have healthy and affordable food in Georgetown. Neman says that they were brought together by three forces, the love of food, creating something different and wanting to solve problems in their lives.

The trio laid out their vision and developed a business plan strategy, but the three had no experience in managing a business much more they knew petite information about food. However, their parents were successful entrepreneurs.

Jammet says that lack of experience turned out to be the success of Sweetgreen since they would tackle every problem with a fresh set of eyes. The trio sought advice from experienced and veterans in business managements including architects, restraint owners, and Georgetown faculty.

The initial location on M Street was only a 500 square feet, the limited resources forced the set to think creatively and thoughtful and focus on what they needed most which was a commitment to sustainability and quality ingredients.

During their business classes, the group learned the signification of a value-driven business. This helped them understand that knowing the culture of a community can enhance and influence the value of brandy.

Reflecting on their lives, the group ensures that they incorporate the community services. In 2010 Sweetgreen in school was launched. The program thrives at educating students about nutrition and healthy living through different projects and workshops. The Sweetgreen in school has evolved from a weekly activity to a series of seminars and programs across Virginia, New York City, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The project is still expanding to more cities, and over 20,000 children have participated in the activities.

The going has not been easy for the trio, but they have also been creative enough. When their second location started to fall apart, they strategized a way of connecting it with the surrounding community. They incorporated music, and other ideas for sweetlife and from that annual music festival and the food was established.

Nathaniel Ru is a co-founder and the chief executive officer of Sweetgreen. Ru and the other co-founders studied at the Georgetown University where they pursued entrepreneurship together. Nathaniel gives productive dialogues on how to start a successful business which is also your passion and simultaneously live happy, which is the most important thing in life.

Nathaniel Ru Continues to Guide Sweetgreens

One of the most significant additions to the fast casual restaurant space over the past few years has been Sweetgreens. Sweetgreens is the first salad bar chain that has hit the main streets across the country. The restaurant has a very clear focus and goal of providing the average consumer with the ability to have an affordable and healthy meal on the go. This has been a huge improvement for health advocates and those that are looking to replace the burger and fries lunch options.

Sweetgreens is one of the fastest growing chains in the country. Three college buddies that were approaching graduation at Georgetown University started it less than ten years ago. The three young business owners found that they were frequently frustrated by the lack of off campus options that served healthy foods. For those that wanted a quick salad off campus, finding an option was next to impossible. To meet the need, which they found to be shared by many of their classmates, the friends decided to open their first Sweetgreens location just a few blocks off of campus.

The three entrepreneurs started their first chain with no additional employees and capital raised from about 40 different friends and family members. Ever since that point, the restaurant has done very well and they have expanded all over the country. The company now has over 30 company-owned stores and is looking to continue to expand with corporate owned stores and is even considering expanding into the franchise space.

While the company has done very well with consumers, it has also been a big hit with those in the investment community. The company has recently received a new round of venture capital private equity that put a valuation of the company at nearly $100 million. This makes it one of the fastest growing chains in the country.

Nathaniel Ru is one of the three founding partners of the company and has continued to be involved in the day-to-day operations. He is the co-CEO, a role he shares with the two other original partners, and has also acted as the primary face of the company. Nathaniel Ru will also be heavily involved in all expansion and investment options that the company will seek to make in the coming years.