Three Undergraduates Turn Their Vision Into Reality

Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru are the three disciplined undergraduates from Georgetown behind Sweetgreen, the healthy table salad chain based out of Washington. Sweetgreen-spelled with one backwards “e” and in all lower case letters, has stores in Boston,New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

Nathaniel Ru is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO with his colleagues, Nicolas, and Jonathan. Most of us have heard the old advice that it’s not a good idea to work with family or be friends with your co-workers. But because of their close bond they’ve been able to do something they love together and be successful at it, and prove that to be an old wife’s tale.

It all started when Nathaniel and his friends were always finding themselves challenged to find places that offer healthy, fun and easy things to eat. The three friends wanted to open a restaurant that offered all these things, so people can have healthier choices.

The trio found the perfect tavern space to begin their company but when Ru called the landlord and explained their vision, she hung up on him. Determined to not take no for an answer, he or one of his roommates continued to call until she finally agreed to meet with them. Dressed in a suit with business plan in hand, (something he never does!) he was prepared only to receive the go-ahead. He convinced her that this might actually work and three and a half weeks later they were able to get started on their venture. The eatery has grown to a total of 21 in just six years.

Nathaniel strongly believes in the importance of passion and purpose and to invest your heart into what you want to do. He believes it’s important that you only hire the best people and to treat them accordingly.

Also a huge believer in community Ru has found that financial success came from stores with teams working the longest together and in this age of technology, the best marketing still remains personal.

Beginning with only one shop in Georgetown in 2007 and with the financial help of 40 friends and family, the Sweetgreen farm-to-table restaurant chain has only grown. They’ve now expanded to 31 nationwide are expected to grow to be 40 by the end of the year. Their three rounds of venture capital funding now totals $95 billion. All because three undergraduates had a vision.