Sweetgreen

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Sweetgreen
TypePrivate
IndustryFast casual dining
FoundedAugust 2007; 13 years ago (2007-08)
FoundersNicolas Jammet
Nathaniel Ru
Jonathan Neman
HeadquartersCulver City, California, U.S.
Number of locations
109 (2020)
Areas served
California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Number of employees
Over 3,500
Websitesweetgreen.com
The original sweetgreen, located on historic M Street in Washington, D.C., was founded in 2007.
Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman in front of their Dupont Circle Sweetgreen restaurant, 2014
Sweetgreen Location in the Upper East Side, New York City

Sweetgreen (stylized as sweetgreen, previously swɘetgreen) is an American fast casual restaurant chain that serves salads. It was founded in August 2007 by Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman, three months after they graduated from Georgetown University's undergraduate business school.[1] Sweetgreen's corporate headquarters moved to the Los Angeles area from Washington, D.C., in 2016.[2] As of March 2019, it had 91 stores in operation in eight states across the United States, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and the District of Columbia.[3][4] The company has over 3,500 employees.[5]

In November 2018, it was announced that Sweetgreen had raised US$200 million in funding.[6] Sweetgreen won the 2020 Webby Award for Food & Drink in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice.[7]

Menu[edit]

The seasonal menu is a rotation of three regional, seasonal dishes in each market.[8][9]

Sweetgreen's executive chef, Michael Stebner, has been with the company since 2014.[10]

The ingredients at a Sweetgreen location.

Salad collaborations[edit]

Dan Barber and Blue Hill[edit]

In the summer of 2015 Sweetgreen partnered with Chef Dan Barber to create Blue Hill's "wastED" salad which uses food "scraps that are commonly thrown away. The purpose of the collaboration was to teach consumers about the country's food waste problem and encourage people to use plant parts that are often "wasted."[11]

Jon and Vinny[edit]

Upon entering the Los Angeles market in 2015, Sweetgreen teamed up with the dynamic chef duo Jon and Vinny to create the "Za'atar Salad." A portion of the sales went directly to support the local partner for Sweetgreen in schools.[12]

Kendrick Lamar[edit]

In 2015, in the lead up to the Sweetlife music festival, Sweetgreen collaborated with musician Kendrick Lamar leading up to his second appearance at the sweetlife music festival. The salad, named "Beets Don't Kale My Vibe," was a pun playing off one of Lamar's most well known lyrics. The collaboration received an enormous amount of press and coverage with over 100 articles featuring the salad, and 10% of proceeds from the salad went to FoodCorps to connect kids to real food.[13]

Momofuku[edit]

Sweetgreen collaborated with David Chang of Momofuku to create a new salad dressing that was featured in the New York locations during the summer of 2014. The "Hozon Salad" used Momofuku's sunflower hosanna in the dressing on a bowl of kale, sunflower sprouts, kale, roasted chicken, onions, carrots, cucumbers, missed seeds and basil.[14]

Mark Bittman[edit]

Cookbook author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman worked with Sweetgreen in the Spring of 2014 to create the April VB6 Salad. Bittman created the VB6 diet where you eat only vegan before 6pm in order to lose weight and "restore health."[15]

Missy Robbins and Danny Bowien[edit]

In September 2020, Sweetgreen announced a collaboration with Michelin star chef Missy Robbins and James Beard Award winner Danny Bowien. Unlike past collaborations, both chefs promoted salads made exclusively using items already on Sweetgreens' menu.[16]

Funding[edit]

Sweetgreen raised its initial $375,000 of startup funding from investors including the three founders' parents, Joe Bastianich, Seth Goldman, and Washington's Latino Economic Development Center.[1][17] In 2013, it accepted a $22 million investment from Revolution Growth, a venture capital fund founded by Steve Case.[18] In 2014, it received $18.5 million in investment from Revolution Growth. In 2015, it raised an additional $35 million in investment under the lead of T. Rowe Price with contributions from existing investor Revolution Growth.[19] The company has raised over $95 million to date.

The startup recently raised a $200 million Series H round led by Fidelity that valued the company at more than $1 billion. This round brings Sweetgreen's total amount of funding to $365 million.[20]

Sweetlife Festival[edit]

Sweetlife Food and Music Festival 2015, Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

Between 2011 and 2016, Sweetgreen hosted an annual music and food festival at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.[21]

Headliners[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Witchel, Alex (27 June 2013). "Inheriting the restaurant gene". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  2. ^ https://www.facebook.com/abhabhattarai. "Sweetgreen to move headquarters to L.A." Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  3. ^ "How these 33-year-olds are taking Sweetgreen from a dorm room start-up to the 'Starbucks of salad'". CNBC.
  4. ^ "sweetgreen: Order Online". order.sweetgreen.com.
  5. ^ "Sweetgreen raises more lettuce to continue expansion". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ McGrath, Maggie. "Why $200 Million Will Make Sweetgreen The Next Big Thing In Delivery (And, Yes, A Unicorn)". Forbes.
  7. ^ Kastrenakes, Jacob (20 May 2020). "Here are all the winners of the 2020 Webby Awards". The Verge. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  8. ^ "How Sweetgreen is claimed to be redefining healthy fast food". CBS News.
  9. ^ Goldberg-Goff, Karen. "Sweetgreen takes eco-friendly approach". The Washington Times.
  10. ^ Carman, Tim. "Sweetgreen launches test kitchen at its Dupont location". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Casey, Nell. "Trendy Salad Chain Sweetgreen Now Selling Salad Made From Food Scraps". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11.
  12. ^ Josh, Scherer. "Bowling for Salad: Jon and Vinny Are Going Fast-Casual With Sweetgreen". Los Angeles Magazine.
  13. ^ Natalie, Weiner. "Kendrick Lamar Gets On-Brand Salad Called 'Beets Don't Kale My Vibe'". Billboard.
  14. ^ Lo, Karen. "David Chang on Momofuku and Sweetgreen Collaboration". The Daily Meal.
  15. ^ Embiricos, George. "Mark Bittman Created A Special Salad For Special Salad Restaurant Sweetgreen". Food Republic.
  16. ^ Adams, Erika (2020-09-09). "Sweetgreen Taps Pasta Champ Missy Robbins and Other Top Chefs for Latest Collaboration". Eater NY. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  17. ^ Bhattarai, Abha (16 June 2013). "From salad shop to music festival, Sweetgreen branches out". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  18. ^ Alden, William (4 December 2014). "Revolution Fund Invests in Sweetgreen Salad Chain". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  19. ^ Stone, Madeline. "Hot new salad chain Sweetgreen just raised a fresh $35 million". Business Insider.
  20. ^ "Sweetgreen is officially a unicorn". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  21. ^ Ramanathan, Lavanya (January 27, 2017). "Sweetgreen just pulled the plug on the Sweetlife Festival. Here's what's likely to replace it". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 January 2019.