The Career of Nathaniel Ru
Every student at Georgetown has heard of Sweetgreen, weather it be for a quick lunch between class, a post-workout snack or even as a “Destination D.C.” during a particularly unadventurous New Student Orientation. However, as of six years ago, the only Hoyas that knew about Sweetgreen were founders Jonathan Neman, Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet. By the beginning of senior year, these three had discussed the limited options of affordable and healthy food within Georgetown. Shortly after they began discussing their plans, they had laid out a vision and had developed their business plan. However, there was barely any prior experience amongst the three. And while all of their parents had been successful entrepreneurs, the three didn’t know what it took in order to build a business , and knew even less about working in the food industry. The lack of experience would later turn out to be the key for Sweetgreen’s success as it would provide an opportunity, allowing every problem to be approached with a fresh set of eyes according to Jammet. Sweetgreen was originally located on M Street, and ended up being just 500 square feet, as well as limited resources that only pushed the group to be creative and determining what it was that they could not do without, this being a commitment to quality and sustainability ingredients. In 2010, the Sweetgreens in Schools program was launched, which seeked to help educate children about healthy living and nutrition through a variety of workshops and hands-on activities. When the second location of Sweetgreen began to fail, the founders decided to begin incorporating music, and this beginning the idea of Sweetlife, which would be a food and music festival. Currently, since starting up their business in Georgetown 13 years ago, the amount of healthy dining options on campus have improved.
While he was a senior at Georgetown, along with friends, Nathaniel Ru developed an eco-friendly frozen yogurt and salad eatery. After Ru graduated in 2007, it was only three months before sweetgreen was opened. In it’s first year, Sweetgreens grossed over 1 million dollars. Sweetgreens has recieved numerous press releases, such as USA Today, The Washington Post, Forbes, Food & Wine, Washingtonion, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS and others.