From Dorm Room Idea to a National Healthy Food Brand-Nathaniel Ru and Sweetgreen
Imagine three young men on campus, all finance majors, walking to their favorite cafeteria to look for a snack. One of the three notes that for all the trouble they go through to get a snack, the food is not even healthy enough; and immediately, this becomes a light bulb moment.
They realize that they can create a brand of healthy and organic alternative food and snack choices for everyone on campus. The only challenge is that even though they are finance majors, they haven’t done much of what would be called business before. This is the story of Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman.
When they realized that their idea might have a chance of selling to their customers, they decided that it was time to think about getting support regarding funding. They came up with a business plan, and they started looking for prospective business rental spaces for their idea.
The first location that they got was owned by the same person that owned the rental apartment where they lived. Ru states that when they approached the lady, she told them that she might consider leasing the space to them, but only if they had a solid business plan. They went back and drew a good business plan, and with her help, they got a consultant to help them with the process.
They realized that to make the brand, they needed to invest in the local community. They created a business model which was so efficient that the fruits and vegetables which are in season are what is served in their shops. They make sure that all the products they sell are organic and that wastage is kept minimal because this reduced the carbon footprint. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork
The next hurdle they had to deal with was marketing their product to customers. They realized that their target demographic would buy more if there were a convenient and digital way to make a sale. They created an app, and currently, about 30 percent of their sales are made using this application.
They have done a great job marketing their brand. Sweetgreen has spread its influence locally. They are now in 40 locations across the country, and the business is still expanding. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://nrn.com/power-list-2016-Jammet-Neman-Ru and http://www.businessinsider.com/sweetgreen-founder-interview-nathaniel-ru-2016-3
They say that their success is a result of resilience, making sure that their customers are always satisfied, and bringing in ideas which create a feeling of unity and belonging. The sky is the limit for Sweetgreen.
Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: