Nearly all the students in Georgetown understand what Sweetgreen is all about as they are able to get snacks after their workouts, and quick lunches between their lectures from the food joint. A quick rewind to six years earlier, no one knew about it except for its would-be founders Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman (MSB ’07). The three final year students talked about the few choices available in healthy and affordable food around the Georgetown area. This led to their close bond attributed to three key things: food, yearning to come up with something and bringing about a solution that would sort the situation they were in. This culminated in the laying down of a good vision and a business plan was made. No one among the trio had any prior business experience, but their parents were successful entrepreneurs.
They faced various challenges at the start especially about their small area but they chose to see the positive in all of them. They became creative and decide to put all their energies on the area that the business would not last without. They settled to focus more on the sustainability of the business and using the best quality of ingredients. The trio went further and sought advice from experienced restaurant owners, architects and the faculty at Georgetown. They got a lot of value from the business classes they attended especially on matters to do with value-driven ventures and the way a certain community culture influences a brand. The trio appreciate the emphasis that Georgetown places on importance of service, and how big the school has grown in its entrepreneurship program. Nathaniel Ru and his two co-founders have incorporated an element of community service through the “Sweetgreen in Schools” program launched in 2010. This program was initiated in order to educate children on nutrition matters and healthy living.
About Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru graduated from Georgetown University in 2007 with a BS Finance, McDonough School of Business. That was the same year that Nathaniel and his two friends plaaned and founded the Sweetgreen. It was to be a casual and fast seasonal kitchen that focused on local sourcing and sustainability. The trio started the first branch in Georgetown and it has now grown into 27 branches that are found in six states. The company harbors expansion plans to the West Coast come 2015.
Nathaniel and his team ensured they offered customers with food that fit their values, taste, budget, imagination and the community. The trio started a music and food festival “Sweetlife” that is the biggest in the area. It was created to boost sales.