Since it was first founded in 2007, sweetgreen has been on a mission to change the way the world thinks about fast food and make fast food healthy, sustainable and above all delicious. In saying this, it’s certainly made it’s way into our regular lunch menu.
As huge fans of sweetgreen, we at Amodrn were lucky enough to get the opportunity to chat with co-founder and co-CEO, Nathaniel Ru, to find out more about the business model and what we can look forward to next.
Oh, and one of Nathan’s favourite salads off the menu is the Harvest Bowl, incase you were wondering!
How did the idea of sweetgreen come to be, and how has the landscape of healthy eateries changed since you first started?
We started sweetgreen to help bridge the gap between health and convenience. That initial goal has evolved into the mission we have today—to connect people to real food.
The landscape has changed dramatically in the last ten years with the introduction and growth of many new healthy restaurant chains as well as on-demand delivery. Although there are more choices today, we believe that together we can have a larger impact on changing the way people think about real food.
One of sweetgreen’s biggest tenants is its commitment to sourcing local ingredients. How has that shaped your vision for the company, and how does it affect your seasonal plans?
At sweetgreen, our commitment to local sourcing helps us design our products and experiences to be in natural rhythm with the world around us. Whether that’s collaborating with farmers who grow in environmentally conscious ways, creating our menu around ingredients that are best for each season, or designing our stores to complement each city. We are passionate about being students of the communities we are in. We’re actively seeking ways to assimilate and augment each respective community.
What advice would you give to other up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and specifically college grads, who are looking to make an impact on the healthy living industry?
Surround yourself with great mentors. They will help you think beyond immediate survival and realize the company or vision you will have a few years from now. Today, there are many entrepreneurs in the health and wellness space you can find online or in your local community.
You’ve partnered with incredible names in the food industry (Danny Bowien, Dan Barber, and Jessica Koslow, just to name a few). What’s next for sweetgreen? Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s coming up?
Chef Collaborations have been a fun and educational way to bring food and culture together. In 2018, we’re excited to partner with some more of our favorite chefs, but this time to nationally connect all of our markets.