As one of the founders of sweetgreen (intentionally not capitalized), Nathaniel Ru has made a commitment to running a sustainable business.
This means not just in regards to the environment but the overall operations of the company. He has said that the things you build in your life should outlast you, something that sweetgreen has as one of its core value.
Nathaniel Ru and his two business partners came up with the idea of sweetgreen while living in Washington D.C. and attending Georgetown University in their senior year.
They had all individually noted that there were no restaurants in the area that offered healthy food while also being a fun and convenient place to eat. They decided that what was then a bar in the downtown area would be a great place to try out their idea for a new type of restaurant, sweetgreen.
Under the leadership of the three co-founders of the company, sweetgreen has expanded in the last nine years into a company with restaurants across the U.S.’s Northeast as well as restaurants located in California. They practice the farm-to-table practice of serving fresh food purchased from farmers local to each restaurant location. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Dynamic Dialogues
The company was built from the ground up with the idea of “why” at its center. Why did they want to serve fresh food? Why did they want this food bought from local farmers? It was only after answering these questions that they moved on to the “what” of the business concept.
Today, Nathaniel Ru is one of the co-CEO’s of the company. He says that at sweetgreen they do not have a headquarters and instead operate the chain in a more decentralized manner so that they stay close to their customers. He says that each restaurant in the chain is designed to appeal to the community in which it is placed rather than having one overall design for the locations.
Nathaniel Ru holds a degree in finance which he earned at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. In addition to running an environmentally sustainable business, he also uses his college education run a financially successful and sustainable one as well.