Three young finance students at Georgetown University are walking around campus, looking for a snack. In the process, they realize that the healthy food options available in the school are insufficient.
So they decide that they are going to give their idea of a healthy food deli a try, and Sweetgreen is born. It is how Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman started the now nationwide healthy food sensation known as Sweetgreen.
The first challenge that the two were faced with was the fact that they did not have any idea how to get a business running. Ru says that even if all of them came from backgrounds where their parents were entrepreneurs, they had never really taken time out of the school to find out how a business runs. However, they started looking for suitable locations for their business.
They were lucky that the first place they came up with was a shop run by their landlady. She gave their business plan a look and then decided that there was a good idea in there. She, however, advised them to look for a competent business consultant so that they could fine-tune their business idea. They were able to come up with a business plan, and she rented the space.
The next step in the journey was to get the customers. Nathaniel Ru says that the best way to create a brand and start building brand royalty is making sure that the product you are selling is excellent in all ways. Read more: Nathaniel Ru | Crunchbase
They consulted the local farmers and looked for a business arrangement that would help them get fresh produce which was in season all the time. They have a preference for greens which are organically grown, and have based their business idea on sustainability and leaving the least possible carbon footprint in the production process.
They came up with marketing ideas which would help them expand their business. The first was going digital. They did this by creating an App. Ru says that more than 30 percent of the sales they make daily are from the application. They also came up with the idea of Sweetlife, which is a cultural music festival that is held annually.
It brings together people who are enthusiasts of the products provided by Sweetgreen, creating a feeling of community. All these are strategies which have helped the company grow from a dorm room idea to the business success that it currently is.
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