Nathaniel Ru is the owner of Sweetgreen’s restaurants which was his idea that he received during his Senior year of college in Washington DC. The complaint was that Ru and his friends always had a hard time finding a fast-food place that let them eat healthful foods. The answer to that was a 560-square-foot Tavern on M Street in the middle of the downtown area. Six years later they operate 21 stores across the Washington DC and the surrounding area. Sweetgreen’s then opened and the three friends were able to begin making their dream a reality of providing a place that offers quality food and that is able to be different and separate from what the “norm” is for a fast food restaurant.
Today, Sweetgreens has led the charge on an array of different fronts including being one of the first fast casual dining restaurants to serve simple, seasonal, healthy food. The company was founded in August of 2007 by Nathaniel Ru and two of his close buddies Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. The first location opened a mere 3 months after the three all graduated together from business school. By 2016 there were 64 restaurants that have been scattered around the country in places from Pennsylvania to California to Virginia and back again. There is also a rotating seasonal menu of various dishes offering the area’s best, most seasonal produce at each of its locations. The menus rotate 5 times per year, and they are all based on ingredients that are in season at the time. The poultry is only brought from organic farms that are able to raise it in a human, antibiotic-free, cage-free way and every animal they use is fed a vegetarian diet. The only sweeteners they use are all natural and they include honey and agave.
Sweetgreen’s also provides an annual festival called Sweetgreen’s Music Festival which also serves as a platform to bring together local people and the food into the communities in which they serve. The festival highlights the values of Sweegreen’s including the company’s passions and purposes as well as their commitment to sustainability, transparent values, and the communities in which they serve. This festival is held annually at the Merriweather Post Pavilion which is located in the town of Columbia, Maryland and it also features a handful of local DC-Area chefs and artists that are involved with the company.
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