While in senior year in college, Nathaniel Ru together with his friends had difficulty finding a healthy, fun and affordable place to eat. They thought a 560 square-foot tavern on M Street at the heart the downtown area could be an ideal location.
Six years down the line, they actualized this idea by establishing Sweetgreen. While speaking at the Wharton Marketing Conference, Ru stated that the eatery they opened at M Street has become the 21-store farm-to-table style restaurant.
The landlord of an apartment building close to where Ru and his friends resided turned out to be the owner of the tavern space. As revealed by Ru, the landlord hanged up after calling and explaining their plans to her.
They repeatedly called the lady for a month until she finally agreed to meet up with them. As recalled by Ru, this was the first and last time he ever wore a suit to a business meeting. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork
In their meeting, the landlord told them to find an architect and financiers then present a real plan during their next meeting. This is perhaps because the landlord has seen potential in the young men who were just a semester away from graduating. It took them three and a half weeks to locate the architect and some sponsors. Nathaniel Ru appreciates the landlord for giving them the chance to give their concept a try as this was the perfect opportunity.
Sweetgreen has continued to grow opening stores in Northeast’s major cities and suburbs including New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington. Each of the stores has its unique architect and design that reflect local tastes. Read more:
The company keeps on serving its healthy and fresh foods with its ingredients obtained from local farmers and vendors. As pointed out by Ru, Sweetgreen upholds its core values while serving the community. They focus on the idea of ‘win, win, win’, making long term decisions and keeping it real. According to Ru, as the company expands, it also helps its employees. The company focuses employing not just good but great people.
Nathaniel Ru is the Co-Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sweetgreen, Inc. He was born in 1985 in Pasadena, California. He graduated in 2017 with a BS in Finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough school of Business. He advices entrepreneurs to create things that are bigger than them and will be able to stand difficult times.
He also urges entrepreneurs to embrace technology but also prioritize human connections. According to Ru, whichever venture you enter into should be sustainable in order to be able to last longer than you.