Nathaniel Ru and the Sweetgreen Movement


Nathaniel Ru attended Georgetown’s undergraduate business school to create something of his own. With the success of Sweetgreen he has created a place where he can emanate a future he believes in. One of his most treasured mottos is “everything you do should last longer than you”. With these words in mind, he has repurposed buildings for his business, and reclaimed relationships with local produce. Sweetgreens provides healthy salads and drinks that just aren’t provided by the big name fast food chains. These chains coerce you into purchasing a boring and sometimes more caloric pile of leaves and heavy dressing. Sweetgreens doesn’t look into just what the customer wants, but why they want something. When Nathaniel saw that something was genuinely conscious and healthy eating on the go, they delivered.


 Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru knew they weren’t going to be institutionalized, it was in their genes. All three grew up with parents who strived for what they wanted in the food industry. As they all walked away from graduation at Gerogetown University, they walked right into a healthy gap in the restaurant business. They set up salad chain Sweetgreen, a home-grown salad option that the millennial dollar was craving. It soon exploded into growth, with 40 stores nation wide by the end of the year. They’re estimated worth is 95 million dollars.


What made they’re brand stand out so fast and effectively? Most attribute their business to an “apple feel“. They are constantly looking to follow a set of local core values. Each store is different in their ingredients and resources based on the location. It creates a dynamic connection with the unique people and places in their chosen Sweetgreen locations. That doesn’t mean they got lots of help during their first years in the business. Some of their early contributors were founder of AOL Steve Case and Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer. They said two of the most important things that made the company happen is the connections and the passion. Without the internships and family friends they wouldn’t have such a strong network to start from. Their connections knew how hard they were willing to work for their success, and thats why they bet on Sweetgreen with them.


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