Nathaniel Ru Talks About Sweetgreen

Nathaniel Ru

In their senior year at the Georgetown University, Washington, D.C, Nathaniel Ru together with his friends found it very difficult to find a healthy place to eat fun and easy food. They figured out that by establishing an eatery at the M Street, they would provide many people with what was lacking in the market. As it turned out, the landlord of the lounge space they wanted to rent was the same owner of the apartment they lived in. Nathaniel Ru called her explaining of their intention, but she hung up on him. He did not give up but rather continued to call her each day for a month.


She eventually picked up and agreed to have a one on one talk with the three. Nathaniel Ru says that this was his first time to put on a suit for a business meeting. On the day of the meeting, the three carried with them a plan of activities which was barely three pages and one page of the financial plan. They intended to call the place greens. The landlord had seen a twinkle in the vision of the three finalists. She asked them to look for an architect and someone who can support their idea and come back with a proper business plan. In three weeks, they had found the architect and backers.


Speaking at the Wharton Marketing conference, Nathaniel Ru said that he grateful that his landlord agreed to help them despite the fact that they did not have prior knowledge or experience with restaurants. Sweetgreen was started in 2007 and has up to date expanded to serve people not only around the Georgetown University but to serve residents of New York, Boston, Philadelphia as well as Washington. The head of the digital marketing of Sweetgreens Theresa Dold likens the company to Apple. She says that the founders asked themselves “why” before “what”. Just like the Apple Company, Sweetgreens want to promote its items in a sexy, smart and local way.


In every year, Sweetgreens throws a music festival in which they showcase their products among them a line of juices. Nathaniel Ru noted that the most fulfilling result comes from those stores where the team have been together longer. For this reason, he and his partners are dedicated to giving the customers and the employees as well, a pleasant experience. For instance, at one particular time, the company was engaged in planning a wedding for two workers. The gestures is not easy to forget.

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