Sweetgreen expands to New York City
Nonetheless, the D.C.-based salad company, Sweetgreen will open in the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan on
July 15th sometime later this month.
The six-year-old company, known for using sustainable, local products, and green business practices, also expanded to Boston earlier this summer. With the two new locations, Sweetgreen will be in a total of 19 locations across the East Coast.
The story behind the company’s success is inspiring, to say the least (especially because it all started at the lovely Town of George).
Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman, the three co-chief executives of Sweetgreen, were good friends while attending Georgetown undergrad almost a decade ago. When they reached their senior year, they identified a major problem they had with the District: it had no fast, healthy places to eat. “[D.C.] was a food desert. Dean & DeLuca was the only place,” Jammet told the New York Times. “So we said, ‘Let’s write a business plan.’”
When they compiled the funds, they were able to open their first store on M Street in Georgetown on Aug. 1, 2007—just in time for a new school year. Just two and a half years later, the three founders had opened a second store in DuPont Circle, and a third in Bethesda, Md. Next they opened a Sweetgreen food truck and a few more stores in the District, as well as two in Philadelphia. Earlier this year they raised significant sums in order to expand their franchise further.
“People expect food that’s quick, affordable and tastes good,” Jammet told the Times, “but they don’t expect to be moved. Ingredients are important, but the experience in the store should leave them happier than we found them.”
Out of this mentality sprung the many other Sweetgreen sponsored programs and events, including Random Acts of Sweetness, Sweetlife, a music and food festival, Sweetgreen Passport, which connects members to community fitness classes, and Sweetgreen in schools, which is comprised of a series of interactive classes where D.C. students learn about healthy eating, sustainability, and the importance of local sourcing and where food comes from.
These programs make the company seem hip and trendy, which would be enough justification for its rapid success and expansion. However, with the growing awareness of poor food production and manufacturing processes, people are starting to put more faith and trust in a company like Sweetgreen that both promises healthy, sustainable food and strives to help local communities and economies.
Editor’s Note: According to an email from a company spokeswoman, Sweetgreen does not have a confirmed date for opening at the NoMad Hotel, though it will open “sometime” this month. Vox got that information from the New York Times, which should be a reliable source. A previous version of this post has been updated.
Photo: Adam Gerard via Flickr