Posts Tagged “Sweetgreen”
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Ever since Sweetgreen announced in March that they would be hosting the Sweetlife Festival, I was curious about how the salad restaurant chain would pull it off. And despite the rainy weather and unusual security practices that marred the day a tad, a solid bill of bands kept the festival a success.
The band, which closed the festival, opened their set with the familiar track “Is This It” from their 2001 debut, and played a set filled with old hits. Their set was thankfully light on tracks from their latest album, Angles, which critics met with an average reception. Soaked in light and filled with, ahem, angles, The Strokes’ stage setup was definitely the best of the day. It lit up in primary colors, and a videos screen played Pong, Tetris, and Space Invaters—it looked straight out of The Empire Strikes Back.
And despite that they’ve been around for over a decade and recently took a hiatus, the band has retained their signature swagger. Lead singer Julian Casablancas strutted around stage and said sweet nothings to the audience, who loved every bit of it. He once asked his bandmates, “What’s the first note of this song?”
They closed the set—and the show—with “Last Nite,” and “Take It Or Leave It.” Notably missing were favorites like “12:51” and “You Only Live Once,” but with the time they were given, they maintained a good balance of the old and the new, and the audience left excited and satisfied, if a little bit deaf.
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Chances are you’ve heard the story of the three Georgetown graduates—Nicolas Jammet (MSB ’07), Jonathan Neman (MSB ’07), and Nathaniel Ru (MSB ’07)—who opened Sweetgreen to almost instant entrepreneurial success.
Well, things are looking even better for the trio of alumni, who were recently featured in Food & Wine.
According to an SEC filing discovered by citybizlist, the salad chain raised $2.1 million during its Series B financing round. Before opening in 2007, Sweetgreen raised $850,000 in seed funds from fellow students, investors, and oddly enough, celebrity chef Mario Batali‘s business partner.
While Sweetgreen’s success may lie in its simple menu, the company’s socially responsible business model has also attracted media attention. The company powers its restaurants with wind energy, uses biodegradable utensils and cups, and composts all kitchen waste. Sweetgreen menus are even embedded with wildflower seeds for at-home gardening.
In addition to its Georgetown location and Sweetflow Mobile, Sweetgreen has locations in five other D.C.-area neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Bethesda, and Reston.
Photo: Flickr user “koshalek“
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The three Georgetown grads who founded Sweetgreen, Nicolas Jammet (MSB ’07), Nathaniel Ru (MSB ’07), and Jonathan Neman (MSB ’07), have been named three of the “40 Big Thinkers 40 & Under” in the November issue of Food & Wine.
The trio of “eco salad chain founders,” numbers 34, 35, and 36 on the list, were praised their commitment to eco-friendly service, products, and financial backing from other environmentally-conscious investors, such as Stonyfield Farm founder Gary Hirshberg.
Sweetgreen’s commitment to sustainability is no accident. Jammet, Ru, and Neman began planning a cheap, healthy, and practical alternative to Georgetown dining during the senior year.
Today, the restaurant they opened less then three months after graduating reflects that same eco-friendly philosophy. Sweetgreen composts waste, buys from local farmers, uses low-energy designs and compostable packaging, has plantable takeout menus, and furnishes its locations with furniture made from reclaimed materials.
Yeah, you can’t get much greener than that.
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The Georgetown neighborhood may soon become a battlefield in the war of designer salads. The Georgetown Dish recently reported that the Chop’t Creative Salad Company might be moving in to a location in the Georgetown neighborhood.
“We have been looking at some sites in the Georgetown neighborhood,” Chop’t co-owner Colin McCabe wrote in an e-mail to Vox. “It would be premature to say that we are closing in anything specific.”
Whether or not Chop’t moves in to Georgetown may depend upon current Georgetown salad king SweetGreen. Chop’t and SweetGreen do offer slightly different menu options—Chop’t, as the name implies, chops their salads to order, while SweetGreen offers freshly tossed salads—but the two businesses would likely compete for customers.
McCabe doesn’t seem too worried though, writing, “Other concepts do not factor in our decision making.”
So will the overpriced Salad War be fought in Georgetown? Only time will tell. But if Chop’t plans to challenge SweetGreen’s dominance, Vox encourages the company to enter the frozen-yogurt-on-a-truck business too. The world can never have enough vehicular-provided frozen treats.
SweetGreen did not respond to Vox’s requests for comment.
Photo by Flickr user iwantamonkey used under a Creative Commons license.
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Like this, but with wheels and electro-funk beats
Sweetgreen, the health nut’s go-to salad and fro-yo shop created by three 2007 MSB alums, is debuting a new addition this Saturday: the Sweetflow Mobile. The van will come will cruise around D.C. carrying Sweetgreen’s signature “Sweetflow” yogurt.
A thoroughly modern take on the ice cream trucks of yore, the Sweetflow Mobile will be tweeting its travels and “will roam the nightly party circuit, as well as host its own impromptu dance parties in the streets of DC,” according to NBC Washington.
After tweeting about it for days (“stayed up all night mixing old-school Mister Softee jingle with a funky electro back beat. Can you say Mobile Dance Party”), Sweetgreen finally released the oddly infectious song of that will accompany the truck. If it doesn’t get you pumped for a night of drinking topped off with overpriced-but-delish yogurt, nothing will!
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It’s been a yogurt summer in Northwest DC. Two ‘real fro-yo’ joints opened in Dupont, and Sweetgreen is still serving their Sweetflow. The overpriced fro-yo caught wallets in a cunning pincer formation, meeting both sweaty-DC-summer and cutesy-trend-related needs.
•Tangysweet, on 21st and P near Dupont Circle, looks like a Euro dance club, with big color-changing neon tube lights that curve into tables. It can feel like a club, too, because the place is frequently packed, especially late at night (TS stays open ’till 2 AM on the weekends). The ‘Original’ yogurt is slightly citrusy and the toppings are fresh, but the other flavors (green tea and pomegranate) are pretty bland.
•Mr Yogato, on the other hand, seems more like a kid’s playroom, with cute drawings and tiny chairs. If the Mr. Robato comes on the loudspeaker and you sing along, you get a 10% discount. They also lower the price for answering trivia questions, wearing a Mr. Yogato stamp on your head, or coming in with a kickball uniform on (how, exactly, they determine what a kickball uniform looks like is unclear).
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