A rapidly expanding chain of convenience restaurants may soon redefine the meaning of “fast food” for Americans. Launched in Washington, D.C. in 2007, Sweetgreen is the brainchild of three collage friends who saw a need for quick, healthy, sustainably-produced food on the go.
Combining their borrowed resources, the trio gambled that their business model – selling only sustainably-produced local and completely natural foods to folks in a hurry to eat – would fill a void in the American diet. Seven years later, there are 28 Sweetgreen stores feeding folks on the run throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
Every Sweetgreen restaurant contracts with local farmers for organic and sustainably-produced products. All proteins served at the eateries are natural and hormone/antibiotic-free. The food packaging is made of completely compostable plant-based materials, and customers are offered the option of purchasing re-usable salad bowls and bags.
Throughout the store and in the kitchen, Sweetgreen provides recycling and composting stations, where leftover food scraps are turned into nutrient-rich soil that the local farmers can use in growing their produce.
Even the physical space is conscientiously constructed – utilizing reclaimed, FSC construction materials, low-VOC paint, furniture built from reclaimed wood, and energy-efficient lighting. Committed to leaving a “gentle footprint,” all of Sweetgreen’s energy usage is off-set by wind energy credits.
Sweetgreen’s menu includes a variety of vegetable and protein dishes, including salads, grains, chicken, soups, fresh-pressed juices, and organic frozen yogurt desserts. Stores are located throughout the Boston, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Philadelphia, and New York area.