Healthy eating on the go has not been an easy market. With fast food restaurants everywhere, many times healthy fast food is too expensive. Three Georgetown graduates decided to bring farm fresh salads to consumers and hit a gold mine. Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru started Sweetgreen in 2007 with one shop in Georgetown, where they graduated. The start up was funded by 40 friends and relatives, and now those three control one of the fastest growing food start ups.
Sweetgreen has now opened 31 locations nationwide, and they hope to open 40 by the end of the year. They have completed three rounds of venture capital raising, totaling 95 million. All three co-founders were from families of entrepreneurs, so the business building came easy. Nicolas Jammet is from a family of restaurateurs, so he brought that experience to the table. They coupled their entrepreneurial spirit with a want to find better food options.
They value the homegrown nutrition of farm fresh salads. The founders noticed how unhealthy salads had become. They wanted to build a business that valued the community, employees, and the farms. They truly value their employees, and if someone leaves them, then they want to know why. What did the company not do that could cause them to stay? The biggest part of their brand is the team work.
How did they make a salad sexy? They know in the end they are selling more than just lettuce, they are selling a brand. Salad is all about the dressing and the toppings. Nathaniel Ru is one of the founders who continues to push the mission of selling a lifestyle and a brand. Nathaniel Ru has stated “Everything you do should last longer than you.” The three founders have started with a vision to create a healthy lifestyle oriented salad chain and watched it explode. Through innovative thinking and immense respect for their employees and distributors, Sweetgreen has made a name for themselves. Their growth nationwide has shown that. With this new round of venture fund raising, it will be interesting to see where they go next.