Nathaniel Ru joined his two college friends Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman after graduation wondering the direction their lives would take. Little did the three friends know that eight years down the line they would be in control of America’s best start-ups. The startup firm received donations from forty American friends and relatives. The Washington-based health farm has up to 31 branches nationwide and is set to add nine additional stores when the year ends. The management has completed additional three rounds of ventures worth $95 million. Peter Elliot from Bloomberg Reserve interviewed the co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Sweetgreen in his Washington office and while editing and condensing the comments.
In the interview, the three friends explain how they were students seeking better food from campus thereby generating an excellent idea. The three friends being sons of successful entrepreneurs did not want to be employees of standard organizations. As they approached the graduation date, the three friends did not desire to wake up every morning having to go to work for someone else. Nathaniel’s parents, as well as Jonathan and Rita Jammet’s, were in the food business. According to the three, they wanted to be self-employed; hence their food exploration in Georgetown.
Looking back, Nathaniel and his friends cultivated the virtue of discipline immediately they identified their niche. They developed a structured business plan of salad and traditional meals. Although the salad options were unhealthy and most popular brands were not nutritious, Nathaniel and his team still refer to their initial business plan because it helped them raise money. The pitch is still on, and they have additional ideas to better it because they are selling more than a leaf of lettuce. Nathaniel explains their set of values on running their business right, sustainably, and serving healthy food while treating clients’ right in the stores, communities and the firms they work with.
Their pioneer investors include Danny Meyer, a close family friend and Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL and current Baker of VC firm Revolution. Steve Case is also a graduate of Georgetown. Nathaniel and his two friends poached great investors although he says in the interview that they had opportunities unlike other students in college.
About Nathaniel Ru
Nathaniel Ru is the co-founder and co-chief executive officer of the American based Sweetgreen restaurant. He graduated from Georgetown University before merging with Jonathan and Nicolas to establish Sweetgreen University. Nathaniel Ru advises young entrepreneurs to read and invest in small businesses.