Category Archives: Food Industry

Nathaniel Ru’s Philosophy; ensure everything you do lasts longer than you

Published / by Crossfit / 1 Comment on Nathaniel Ru’s Philosophy; ensure everything you do lasts longer than you

The interesting thing about the Sweetgreen’s company and its three founders is that three years ago, only the trio knew of the idea that they had in mind. The three were discussing about how difficult it was to find healthier food alternatives on campus when they realized that this was a business opportunity in disguise.

Six years after they first thought of the problem, Sweetgreen is now a fully established 21 store farm to table restaurant that specializes in organic food alternatives for people that love the concept of clean eating. The first challenge that the trio had when they were trying to establish their business was getting space for the first restaurant. Coincidentally, the landlord to their rental also owned a space they were eyeing. The first time they called her, she simply hung up on them after hearing their plans. They proceeded to call her every day of the month till she agreed to a face to face meeting.

When the landlord met them, she was more supportive than they had imagined. She told them to look for an architect and polish their business plan. This made them start having confidence that they had something great going. In three weeks, they had the architect and backers. Nathaniel says, they remain grateful to the woman who decided to believe in college seniors with no previous experience in the restaurant business. Today, the trendy organic food restaurant has spread to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

The thing that made the concept sell was that the company was selling more than just salad. They likened their business to Apple, which looks from the inside out. The deeper purpose has been solidified with the introduction of Sweetlife. Their aim in marketing is to be smart, sexy, social and local. The sweetlife ventures is the part of the company that organizes a music festival annually as part of marketing for their brand.

Nathaniel Ru believes that the concept they have created will last long after they are gone. This is what makes their company more unique than everyone else in the market selling greens. Winning while keeping it real are two of the five values that the company bases their marketing on. From the look of things, the sky will be the limit for this young business.


Nathaniel Ru: Sweetgreen Success

Published / by Crossfit / 1 Comment on Nathaniel Ru: Sweetgreen Success

As a Georgetown undergraduate, Nathaniel Ru and three other close friends, wanted a little more out of life. Being fed up with the choices of college foods, they developed a plan and founded one of the greatest salad chains on the market today. Eight years later, after their graduation, Nathaniel Ru and his colleagues, started one of the hippest and up-beat salad chains. Their salad chain was created to bring a fresh alternative to other salad markets, by providing a farm-to-salad atmosphere. Nathaniel Ru’s salad chain is called Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen started in 2007 and was funded by the help of 40 friends and relatives.


Today, Sweetgreen is in 31 nationwide areas, and hoping to reach to 40 by the end of the year. Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru, are all founders of Sweetgreen and they all three come from families of entrepreneurs. While coming from business families, they all had a vision of building a business on their own, but also wanting healthier food choices in Georgetown.


The vision of Sweetgreen came from the three friends being disciplined. Nathaniel Ru and his colleagues knew that they did not want to just produce a regular type of salad, but wanted something more for healthier options. Nathaniel Ru, along with the other founders, has stated, “We knew that we weren’t selling just a salad leaf, We’re selling a set of values that are about doing everything right, sustainable, and I mean that in the business, in the food that we serve, in the way we hire and treat people in our stores, in our community, on the farms we work with, in the way we build our stores.”


Sweetgreen has completed three rounds of venture capital funding, totaling $95 million. It has gained so many great reviews, along with community and local support. People are finding, that it is not just a salad or a piece of lettuce, there is taste and values behind each bite, and because of the farm-fresh taste, the salad is considered more as a meal at Sweetgreen. Nathaniel Ru, as a college student, definitely had dreams and aspirations of a business chain. As graduation got closer, he knew that deep down, he didn’t want that life.