Growing up, vegetables and salads sounded like a death sentence. But once I tried Sweetgreen, I realized that healthy (and locally-sourced!) foods could actually be tasty. With salads like the Spicy Sabzi and Guacamole Greens, Sweetgreen could become your favorite lunch spot. If it already is, here are some fun-facts about it you probably didn’t know:
1. It’s a college start-up
Three Georgetown grads, Nicholas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Neman, founded Sweetgreen three months after they graduated. They felt they “had something missing in their lives. We had nowhere healthy to eat.” As of 2016, there are over 40 stores, from New York City to Chicago to Boston, with over 1,700 employees.
2. The natural ingredients will make your body feel like a temple
Unlike a lot of fast food restaurants, Sweetgreen focuses on creating a farm-to-table experience. In fact, the produce of 300 farms can be found in each restaurant. In the early days, the founders would actually go straight to farmers’ stands and meet them. The poultry is humanely raised, antibiotic-free, and cage-free. Their produce and cheese is organic AND local.
3. They give back to their local communities
Sweetgreen has made it their mission to make an impact on the communities in which they’ve set up shop. Once you unlock the “green level” of rewards, 1% all of your purchases is donated to the Sweetgreen in schools program. Sweetgreen in schools is a series of wellness workshops that educates elementary schoolers about healthy eating and nutrition. Don’t be too surprised when you spot a few ten-year-olds lining up at your local SG.
4. They know how to throw down
Sweetgreen goes hard. Every year, Sweetgreen throws their annual concert, the Sweetlife festival. They bring together artists like The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, and Calvin Harris along with awesome food vendors at Merriweth Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. So basically Coachella + free food.
5. Kendrick Lamar is a fan
In 2015, leading up to the Sweetlife festival (which he was performing at), Kendrick Lamar partnered with Sweetgreen on a salad. Named “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe,” the salad received an enormous amount of press and coverage. Plus, 10% of proceeds from the salad went to FoodCorps to connect kids to real, healthy food.
6. They offer so much more than salads
Although the froyo is long gone, Sweetgreen has a bunch of yummy sides, from fresh fruit to house-made drinks. You can always hydrate with drinks ranging from blueberry basil fresca to jasmine iced tea.
7. The menu is ~seasonal~
Sweetgreen, though it retains classics like the Kale Caesar and Hummus Tahini Salads, with spring additions like the Umami Grain Bowl and Hibiscus Lime Fresca, you cannot go wrong. Now you have an excuse to go to Sweetgreen all year long.