Nathaniel Ru’s Philosophy Of Community Around Sweetgreen

Nathaniel Ru, along with Jonathan Neman and Nicolas Jammet are proud to run a company that is making changes for the better in the food service industry. Their company, Sweetgreen has become one of the top salad chains with locally grown produce and information on all their products’ ingredients available at the individual restaurants.

Ru and his friends started this company with the goal of not only bringing healthy foods in place of most fast food chains, but also educating others on healthy eating. So far Sweetgreen has done well because it embodies several values that Ru, Neman and Jammet all believe in.

Ru said first that he wants every decision that Sweetgreen makes to be a winner for the company, customer and community. Second, he believes that every decision regarding the direction of the company will have a lasting impact, and he wants that impact to be for the better.

And then he also wants the company to be about authenticity in treating customers with respect and taking a real interest in their needs. And he believes that everything that’s done at Sweetgreen is done together between the company and its employees. So how did the three men build a company founded on these values?

It began in 2007 while they were attending Georgetown University and looking for an angle in their efforts to start a business. They had often discussed the lack of healthy eating options at the university, so then they decided to start their own healthy eating restaurant.

It began with a little help from their families and other investors, and their original restaurant was a little shop at a quaint corner on campus. But they realized it would succeed when they managed to stay open all through the winter break of that year. They wanted to add a new location in the following year, but this new restaurant struggled to attract customers. So that’s when they began a new pitch with music.

Their music ideas led to the formation of Sweetlife, a music festival commonly held outside Sweetgreen locations. In time Ru and his friends started generating revenue that allowed Sweetgreen to expand and open locations in many more cities.

Soon they moved out to Los Angeles where they spend a lot of time, but Sweetgreen has no central headquarters and Ru says that’s by design. But they have brought in new app to combine the latest technology trends and social media into their restaurant chain.

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