Getting a Sustainable Business Model and Making it Work-The Story of Nathaniel Ru and Sweetgreens


In 2007, three finance students at Georgetown University, Nathaniel Ru, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman were walking around campus when they realized that the healthy food options they craved for were not available. They discussed the apparent gap in the supply market and decided that they were going to come up with a product that would adequately fill this gap.  Read more: Nathaniel Ru Blazes a Trail in The Height Food Industry | Affiliate Dork and Sweetgreen Founder Interview – Nathaniel Ru | Business Insider

They had many challenges facing them, but the biggest of them was the fact that they had not ventured into the business before. Nathaniel Ru, one of the co-founders of the venture stated that perhaps the fact that they had not done business before was what motivated them towards making it work.

The first thing they realized they had to do was come up with a product that their customers would want to associate with. They approached the local farmers who specialize in organic foods alone and offered to be purchasing the fruits and vegetables which were in season.

They aimed to make sure that they leave the least possible carbon footprint from their salad production process.

The other challenge they faced was getting someone to fund their business idea. The three were lucky that the women who owned their residential apartment were also the owner of the location they were eyeing. Learn more about Nathaniel Ru: http://www.thehoya.com/nathaniel-ru-jonathan-neman-and-nicolas-jammet/

She challenged them to come up with a great business plan, and she gave them the space to make it a reality. As the idea started gaining popularity, big names in the entertainment industry such as Steve Case and Daniel Boulud came on board and funded the expansion. Currently, there are more than 40 Sweetgreens stores across the country.

They realized that if they wanted to make sales, they would have to incorporate technology in their sales. The trio decided to create an app where their customers could order for the products they wanted.

Currently, more than 30 percent of their sales are made through the application. Their business model is based more o n meeting and interacting with their customers than staying somewhere in a corporate office, away from their clients.

The three also incorporated Sweetlife into their business idea. It is a music festival which brings together their clients and other enthusiasts at least once a year. They believe that their success has been possible because they have created a sense of family. Nathaniel Ru states that their ultimate goal is to make sure that their brand lives on long after they are gone.

Jim Larkin: Irish Folk Hero and Labor Organizer


As an activist, folk hero, and Irish labor organizer, Jim Larkin, founder of the Irish Transport General Workers’ Union, was a man of conviction and high moral standards who was determined to see Irish people win the right to fair employment. He was born on January 21, 1876, in Liverpool, England, and grew up in the poorer parts of Liverpool.

\With not much formal education, Jim helped his family out by working different jobs when he was younger and before long became a foreman at the Liverpool docks. After this time he committed himself to the sole purpose of seeing workers get treated fairly.

In 1905 Jim Larkin became a trade union organizer with the National Union of Dock Labourers (NUDL) and later formed the Irish Labour Party. In 1907 he started up the General Workers’ union and the Irish Transport and worked hard to convince all industrial workers to join into one single union.

Eventually he put together a strike for the city of Belfast’s dock workers and was able to unite Protestants and Catholics alike to join in the same cause; something that rarely happened at that time in history. The local Royal Irish Constabulary even took part in the strike, but in the end, the strike didn’t succeed in getting what the workers needed.

In 1910 Jim was persecuted and convicted of embezzling funds from the NUDL in order to give them to Cork workers who were in a labor dispute. Learn more about Jim Larkin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8QqK8YbbaI and http://spartacus-educational.com/IRElarkin.htm

He was sentenced to a year in prison, and because many people considered it an unjust ruling, Lord Aberdeen pardoned him after he served only three months of his sentence.

In 1913 Jim Larkin took the Irish Labour Party to its heights by leading many different strikes. Part of these conflicts included the amazing war of 404 employers versus more than 20,000 workers, which brought Jim international recognition and put a spotlight on the plight of the workers there.

Jim also lead the Dublin Lockout, which included 100,000 workers going on strike for almost eight straight months. These strikes eventually won them the fair employment rights they were looking for.

After his work in Ireland, Jim Larkin moved on to the United States for some time and became a socialist speaker, activist, and member of the Socialist Party of America who was involved with workers rights. He later moved back to Ireland where he continued to support community workers rights efforts.