During his senior year in Washington D.C at Georgetown University, Nathaniel Ru and his comrades had a problem finding affordable healthy places to eat. They finally found a 560 square-foot tavern on M Street and had an idea to start their own. Six years later, they started an eatery on M Street which has grown to the current 21- store farm-to-table style restaurant chain sweetgreen.
The apartment building landlord where Nathaniel and his friends lived happened to be the owner of the tavern space where they wanted to start their restaurant. Ru called and explained to the landlord about their business idea, but she hung up. For a month Nathaniel and his friends insisted on calling the landlord until she agreed to meet up with them for a business meeting.
They showed up with a three-page business plan and had an idea of calling the place ‘greens.’ Ru stated that the landlord believed in their idea and asked them to find an architect and some business advisers and then present a real business plan. It took Ru and his colleagues three and half weeks to find some backers and an architect. The landlord helped them despite them not having any restaurant experience and only being college seniors.
Sweetgreen has grown and has stores in the Northeast’s major cities and their outskirts, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Theresa Dold, a Georgetown University graduate, stated that Sweetgreen was started as a salad restaurant but with a deeper purpose. Ru assured people that every sweetgreen branch serves individuals with the same core values of the company.
In April 2009, the founders got a bigger space near DuPont Circle opened a restaurant but customers did not show up in the first two weeks. The owners of the place came with a music idea every Saturday and Sunday and playing music worked out with 600 customers showing up leading to an event called sweetlife.
Sweetgreen is now facing tremendous improvements including it has an app connecting customers, has yoga classes, promotions with gym and fitness clubs. Sweetgreen works toward giving clients and employees the best experiences.
Nathaniel Ru is the founder and the Co- CEO of Sweetgreen Company founded in 2007 together with Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. He is a graduate of Georgetown University at the McDonough School of Business. Nathaniel is passionate about his ideas and running Sweetgreen.