Nathaniel Ru is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen, the destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food. Nathaniel and his co-founders Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC, just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 48 locations across the East Coast and California.
Sweetgreen also produces the annual Sweetlife Festival, a two-day music-and-food festival featuring local restaurants and big-name chefs and artists like Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Lana del Rey, Foster the People, and Phantogram. Each year, the festival attracts tens of thousands of attendees.
Nathaniel has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies", Inc’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes’“30 Under 30”andFood & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under,” among other accolades. While the three founders share CEOresponsibilities, Nathaniel’s passion is in design, and he acts as the Creative Director for the brand, overseeing the look and feel of sweetgreen’s restaurants and visual storytelling.
Born and raised in Pasadena, CA, Nathaniel graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he met fellow sweetgreen Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman.