Nathaniel Ru and his college friends from Georgetown University were having a hard time finding a healthy eatery, that was also a cool and fun place to hang out during their senior year. However when they discovered a tiny, 560 square foot tavern on “M” st., they wondered if this could be the place they were seeking.
Amazingly, because of Ru and his friends,it became just what they were seeking. Six years later, that tiny “M” St tavern has been converted into a 21-store-farm-to-table restaurant chain eatery.
How did they do it? Having a lot of perseverance. They continuously called the landlord of the property everyday until she finally agreed to a face-to-face meeting with them. Ru stated they were not very prepared, having only a three page business plan, one page of which was financial plans.
At first, they wanted to call the restaurant, “greens”. There was something about Lu and his two friends that impressed this landlord, for after the meeting she told them to find an architect, along with someone to back their business financially, and come back with a real business plan.
Three and a half weeks later they returned with a financial backer and an architect and “sweetgreen” in lower-case lettering, with one backwards “e” was born. Sweetgreen now has stores in the Northeast’s major cities and suburbs. Such as Boston, New York, Washington and Philadelphia. The food is always freshly bought from local farmers to ensure the consumer receives the very best products. Read more: Sweetgreen Founder Interview – Nathaniel Ru | Business Insider
Sweetgreen is so much more than just a place to buy food. In many ways Sweetgreen can be compared to Apple, because both companies think “from the inside out.” Meaning, they think about the “why” before the “what”.
Ru has the belief that no matter how many stores Sweetgreen’s opens, they will continue with the core values of the company, and that is to service the community and not some corporate giant. Ru and his co-founders came up with five core values that are placed in ever kitchen of Sweetgreen’s. The first being: “Win, win, win!! Every decision you make should be for the long term. Everything you do, should last longer than you.”
Nathaniel Ru also believes that stores get the best financial results when they have a team working together for a long time; therefore, he wants to ensure that not only the costumers, but the employees also receive the best experience of their lives. Even going out of their way to help two engages employees plan their wedding. Nathaniel Ru states, “It may be the digital age, but in the end, the best marketing is personal.”