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Sweetgreen Combines Passion With Purpose Sweetgreen Combines Passion With Purpose

Sweetgreen Combines Passion With Purpose

Oct 15, 2014

Fast food generally doesn’t elicit thoughts of healthy eating. Even Subway’s marketing of 6-inch ham and cheese subs is still a hoagie full of processed meat and carbs when you cut it. Fast food and healthy just don’t mix — but that’s where Sweetgreen differs.

The food chain founded by a trio of 20-somethings out of Washington D.C. was started in 2007 and could be thought of as more of a fast food destination for Whole Foods shoppers — or those who would like to shop at Whole Foods. The healthy-eating (don’t expect to find a burger and fries on the menu) chain of restaurants has expanded to over two dozen locations in the last few years and plans to branch out into other parts of the East Coast.

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The upstart aims to change the way Americans look at fast food, with ingredients that aren’t just fresh, but healthy, and most importantly, taste good. The company was founded by Jonathan Neman and fellow Georgetown grads Nicolas Jammet and Nathaniel Ru who wanted to create a fast food restaurant that wouldn’t cramp their active lifestyle. “We started with a set of values about what we wanted to eat and aimed to build a place that we would like to eat at everyday,” said Jammet. “We had nowhere to eat. There were a bunch of places off campus that weren’t healthy or weren’t cool. So, we took a class called ‘entrepreneurship’ and made a business plan.”

There first restaurant wasn’t much, just barely over 500 square feet and in a run-down, abandoned spot, but with a handful of hopeful investors and a menu that was both affordable and healthy, Sweetgreen flourished.

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Sweetgreen’s food menu has an array of salad choices and yogurt that is sourced locally and organic. Amazingly, those local and organic ingredients don’t necessarily add up to a big price tag and Sweetgreen’s prices are rather comparable to other fast food restaurants at around $7 for a meal.

Perhaps what has made Sweetgreen so appealing to its customers is its motto of: “live the sweet life.” The motto means a lot to Jammet who says that living the sweet life is finding the intersection of a life that is both healthy and meaningful, but enjoyable at the same time.