Nathaniel Ru is one of three founders of Sweetgreen, a rapidly expanding us fast casual restaurant food chains that specializes in the supply of simple, seasonal and healthy food. Together with Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman, Ru created this company in 2007 immediately after graduating from Georgetown University. In just nine months, the investment has expanded to include 64 outlets. Most of these branches are in California, Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The company currently [provides employment to over 1700 people. The company has important interests in philanthropic activities, music, technology, and lifestyle.
Nathaniel Ru’s interest in entrepreneurship goes back to his childhood days. His parents, although not in the food business were entrepreneurs. Nathaniel thus was always inspired to start a business, and the encounter with Jonathan Neman and Nicholas Jammet, who came from families of entrepreneurs, was a key motivation in his decision to start a business. Recounting how the decision to set up Sweeetgreen started, Nicolas Jammet states that the three founders did not want o to create an institutional development, but rather wanted a business of their own.
The success story of Sweeetgreen
For Nathaniel Ru, as is the case with millions of other people, the unprecedented success of Sweeetgreen is as fascinating one. Barely ten years ago, no one else knew about the investment apart from him and his co-investors. Ru and his classmates conceived the investment when they were about to finish college, and although the parents of each of them were already successful entrepreneurs, none of them had the prerequisite experience to start and run a business successfully. Moreover, they had little knowledge of what running a successful food supplies business entailed. However, they knew that there was a need to provide healthy and affordable food in George Town, and they were determined to meet this need. Ironically, their lack of prior experience was the key reason their success went on to become a huge success because they approached every challenge with a fresh approach. Once they had set up a vision and a strategy for their new investment, the trio acquired a location on M Street in which to begin their investment. It was a small space, and Ru and his partners had to decide on what was most important for the business. They invested in sustainable and quality ingredients, and this, together with a strong sense of customer satisfaction, has led to the company’s remarkable success since.
Sweet green still continues to focus on value-driven service to customers. Also, the company has set up programs such as “Sweetgreen in Schools” to help educate children on the importance of healthy nutrition. The program has been very successful; to date, more than 20,000 students have taken part in its activities and workshop. For a relatively young company, Sweetgreen is making giant steps in meeting the nutrition needs of its ever growing client base and giving back to the society in meaningful ways.