While Nathaniel Ru and his two friends were at Georgetown University, they noticed that they had trouble finding healthy eating places in the four years they were on campus. Being business students, they naturally came up with a business idea to begin a venture in which they would provide healthy eating solutions to the people of Georgetown.
In their last year on campus, they became serious with the idea and started looking a location in which they could run a café, which they decided to call greens. They noticed a 560-square foot tavern that was on M Street and looked for the owner’s contact.
According to Crunchbase, upon finding the contact, Nathaniel called the landlord but she hung up the phone on him when she heard the explanation. Since the three friends did not have another location in mind, they continued calling her daily for 3 months but she refused to call their calls. However, one day she decided to meet them so that they would stop bothering her.
The three friends decided to wear suits that day, although that was not their norm; they wanted to give the landlord an impression that they were serious people. They also drew up a 3-page business plan to present to the landlord.
She was impressed and gave them a notice to look for an architect to renovate the tavern, investors to fund their business idea, and a proper business plan. Within three weeks, the three came up with the requirements and that marked the beginning of their business which was then named Sweetgreen.
Sweetgreen has five core values: win win win, sustainability, keeping it real, sweet, and impact. Win win win signifies a win for the company, customers, and the community. The management believes that real success can only be achieved when each of the stakeholders feels satisfied and happy with the products and services offered by Sweetgreen.
Secondly, the firm thinks sustainability, whereby each of the decisions made by the management should be for the long term and not the short term. The three co-founders believe that everything that they do should outlive them. Consequently, they do not run the firm for profits but for longevity.
Thirdly the three Sweetgreen co-founders intend to keep it real in all they do. According to Nathaniel, this is achieved by being authentic in all the firm does. Sweetgreen does not borrow recipes from outside but they design their own new recipes that satisfy the customers.
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