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Business Idea: Sweetgreen

source: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/41123/sweetgreens-sweet-spot

Georgetown University business majors Jonathan Neman, Nic Jammet, and Nathaniel Ru stated they couldn’t find a healthy or inexpensive place to eat near campus. So they started an eatery opening up shop in a Lilliputian M Street NW space opposite the apartment Neman shared with Ru.

However the start of Sweetgreen wasn’t smooth sailing. The tiny store didn’t have plumbing or electricity; its owner didn’t want to rent it to neophytes. But the guys, having decided to forego the investment banking jobs that many of their classmates had snagged, were determined. “I called every day for weeks,” Neman says. Opening up just ahead of the salad-and-tart-yogurt trends, they’ve since expanded to nine restaurants in three states and the District. Regularly logging 15-hour days, they plan to open eight more locations in the next year.

Family connections helped the trio raise start-up funds from investors including Joe Bastianich, the business partner of celebrity chef Mario Batali. Peter Hapstak, the architect behind Brasserie Beck and dozens of other hip D.C. restaurants, won awards for his eco-friendly design of Sweetgreen’s first store.

“Over time, this whole region and probably the whole country will know about Sweetgreen and Sweetlife,” Goldman says. It’s hard not to agree: After nine hours at the show, I realize I haven’t gone 30 seconds all day without seeing one of those two words.

“Next year, we’re going even bigger,” Neman says.

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May 15, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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