Georgetown Original, Sweetgreen, Announces IPO  

Healthy salad options abound at Sweetgreen. Photo courtesy Sweetgreen.


Walking down Georgetown’s iconic M street, chances are you’ll come across someone carrying a familiar hexagon-shaped bowl containing a fresh Sweetgreen salad. Whether you’re escaping the bustle of the boutiques or grabbing lunch to go, Sweetgreen is an easy, healthy, and wildly popular option for students and shoppers alike.   

Referred to as the “Starbucks of Salads,” Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 by Georgetown University students Jonathan Neman, Nathaniel Ru, and Nicolas Jammet and is paving the way for nutritious options in the fast food industry. Sweetgreen’s sustainable business model, partnership with local farmers, and delectable menu make it a desirable choice for consumers and now, investors.   

On Nov. 18, Sweetgreen announced their Initial Public Offering (IPO) starting at $28 per share. By the afternoon, the company rang in at a market value of over $5.5 billion. In the coming years, the company is planning to expand into more suburban locations to cater to those now working from home, in addition to their established presence in large cities. With the newly evolving work-from-home model, there is enormous growth potential for restaurants to redefine the corporate lunch break and make an impact in this market.   

Sweetgreen at 1044 Wisconsin Ave. in Georgetown. Courtesy Washingtonian Magazine.

Sweetgreen is also making headway on the technology front. Over fifty percent of the company’s revenue comes from mobile orders. This includes ordering through the Sweetgreen app, directly from the website, or through a food delivery service like GrubHub or UberEats. The ability to order online became an even more convenient and appealing option during the height of the pandemic when leaving the house to pick up food was suddenly an activity to look forward to. Sweetgreen is planning to extend their reach in the digital space as well as technology and food trends evolve.    

The Sweetgreen mission is simple: building healthier communities by connecting people to real food. Sweetgreen was founded with sustainability at the forefront. Each location partners with local farmers to bring in fresh, in-season produce to make the salads and bowls. Neman, Ru, and Jammet saw a unique opportunity to provide a healthy option while also staying environmentally conscious, combatting two major issues that stem from the food industry – obesity and pollution.   

Sweetgreen pledges to be carbon neutral by the end of 2027. They already have many sustainable practices in place. All of their packaging, utensils, and paper-ware are compostable. Their menu is comparatively more plant-based than other mainstream fast food establishments. By serving vegetables that are local and in-season, they cut down on carbon emissions from food importation. The organic produce is grown in natural conditions which is healthier, fresher, and less likely to be treated with artificial growth hormones and chemicals.   

Sweetgreen is both an environmentally friendly and health conscious option. Be sure to check out the latest seasonal menu items: Chicken and Brussels, Curry Cauliflower, and the Elote Bowl. On your next stroll down M street, look out for the Sweetgreen Tavern – the original location of the entrepreneurial venture that has a bright future ahead.   







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