The number of people succumbing to lifestyle-related illnesses is rising at an appalling rate. Well, a group of three students from the Georgetown University realized that as huge as their campus was, it was close to impossible to find healthy food alternatives to the fast food retailing at every corner of the campus.

As finance students, they naturally saw an entrepreneurial opening and had the guts to take a risk. Three years down the line, a venture that started out as a bout of wishful thinking by some college kids has turned into a nationwide business empire with more than 40 branches across the country.

When Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet, and Jonathan Neman started the business, they had minimal background experience on the same. Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork

While they all came from entrepreneurial backgrounds, they had never personally tried their hand in business. The first obstacle they had was getting the appropriate venue to set up their business.

They knew that with the flimsy business plan they had, it would be hard to secure a landlord. They were lucky that the landlady of the apartment where they lived was willing to look at their business plan. She gave them a chance to consult with an expert and improve their business model, and then she offered them the space they needed to set up their first deli.

Nathaniel Ru says that he believed that they were going to make it in business when he realized that they had made it through the first winter at college without closing their shop.

They started expanding their business model to make their food supply more sustainable. They have done collaborations with farmers who produce purely organic vegetables and fruit, and stock their stores with this local fresh produce.

Another strategy Nathaniel states has worked for them is incorporating technology into their sales. He admits that they created an application through which their customers could order for their salads. Read more: Sweetgreen | Wikipedia

Currently, more than 30 percent of their sales are generated through the mobile application. To draw in more of the youthful crowd who was their target demographic, they also decided to create a music festival known as Sweetlife.

The top management of Sweetgreen does not believe in having corporate offices in a particular place. Once a year, they close down their main offices and go out to interact with their customers in their many branches.

The kind of business model they are working for is something they hope will live much longer than them.

Learn more about Nathaniel Ru:

http://fortune.com/2016/02/18/sweetgreen-entrepreneurs/
https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/potmsearch/detail/submission/6435405/Nathaniel_Ru