When three undergraduate students at Georgetown University sat in their digs considering the dearth of eating places available to them, they could hardly have imagined that their musings would result in one of the fastest growing startups in America only eight years later.
Nathaniel Ru, Nicholas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman founded Sweetgreen, which is a fast food restaurant specializing in frozen yogurt and salads. The restaurant soon attracted the attention of notable investors including Daniel Boulud, Steve Case, and Danny Meyer. Sweetgreen is a classic startup that has found a niche in the preparation and sale of healthy organic salads at a reasonable price.
The Rapid Growth of Sweetgreen
The salad chain is based in Washington and began with a single shop in Georgetown back in 2007. The fresh, farm-to-fork operation was initially funded by 40 of the founders’ friends and relatives. From its humble beginnings, Sweetgreen is now up to 31 outlets across America and plans to expand to at least 40 before the end of 2017. Also, the company has realized $95 million from its recently completed third round of venture capital funding.
A Community-Focused Food Chain
According to Theresa Dold, the company’s head of digital marketing and another graduate of Georgetown, Sweetgreen is more than just a place to buy food. She says that the founders started by asking themselves why they needed to start the business.
They then started the restaurant to serve a deeper purpose. On his part, Ru says that regardless of the number of outlets the company opens, each has to serve its community and live up to the company’s core values.
George Ru is quick to emphasize the fact that Evergreen should also be of service to its employees as much as to its customers. He says that the company not only goes out of its way to look for great employees but also hires friends of the best staff. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathaniel-ru-b04a7310 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweetgreen
He adds that Sweetgreen had established that the best results were from locations where the teams have worked together longest. Ru and his partners want their employees to have good experiences alongside their customers.
About Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru studied at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.
In the fall of 2015, Nathaniel Ru discussed the growth and success of Sweetgreen at the Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Day. Thanks to their various activities at the Georgetown Business School, Ru, and his co-founders received an excellent grounding in entrepreneurship.