With a Commitment to Traceability, Transparency and Social Responsibility, sweetgreen Has the Magic Recipe for Success

In the midst of COVID-19, seasonal restaurant sweetgreen is riding high on the wave of national admiration. Since March of this year, the beloved maker of nutritious salads and grain bowls has focused on delivering real food to healthcare heroes in the communities it serves. To date, sweetgreen has donated over 100,000 meals to more than 130 hospitals around the country through their Impact Outpost Fund, created in partnership with Jose Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. The company’s new goal is to serve 250,000 meals. We’re proud to call sweetgreen a member of the Trustwell family, and we congratulate them on the launch of their new Plates menu — their first new menu category in four years. Read on to learn more about their people, their purpose and their commitment to food safety.

Sweetgreen logo

In 2007, Jonathan Neman, Nicolas Jammet, and Nathaniel Ru were new Georgetown University graduates who decided they wanted to change the future of food. Just three months after their college graduation, they opened their first sweetgreen location. Today, the trio and their team of more than 3,500 employees continues to create simple, seasonal, cook-from-scratch, healthy salads and grain bowls at their 100+ locations nationwide.

Built on the philosophy of sustainability, transparency, and local sourcing, sweetgreen has committed to the health of individuals, communities and the environment. Their in-store chalkboards share their ingredient sourcing list with customers, and the open-kitchen concept where they prep food reflects a commitment to transparency.

Restaurant walls bear the beautiful work of local artists who produce photography, oil paintings, mixed media, watercolors and neons, all inspired by the seasons, the food or the neighborhood.

“Our mission is to inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food,” says Robin Kalsbeek, Supply Chain R&D Manager at sweetgreen. “We believe in a transparent supply chain, and Trustwell helps us to achieve that. We are always looking for ways to source smarter, and with FoodLogiQ Compliance, our suppliers are at our fingertips.”

Kalsbeek and the sweetgreen team feel strongly that it’s their responsibility to provide their customers with the best ingredients from sources that align with their mission. FoodLogiQ Compliance allows them to systemize and standardize their supplier information in one location so they can quickly capture food quality issues anywhere in their supply chain.

With a true farm-to-fork business model, sweetgreen also relies on FoodLogiQ Traceability to achieve end-to-end, lot-level traceability.

“We understand that food may be compromised due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the romaine lettuce contaminations over the past couple of years,” Kalsbeek explains. “Even though we source locally, we are able to see which of our stores are affected during this kind of situation, and we can act immediately. Getting real-time visibility of our supply chain allows us to substitute products and change menu items to reflect what’s available and fresh, while keeping our customers safe.’’

True to their mission, sweetgreen is committed to supporting small and mid-size growers who are farming sustainably, as well as creating transparency around what’s in their food.

“A robust traceability platform is critical to safe food. Because of our business model and decentralization, we work with many growers and distributors,” explains Kalsbeek. “We are the critical link between these stakeholders and our consumers, and it’s our job to protect the future of their food. Trustwell Connect allows us to do this in a fast, efficient manner, with full visibility into our supply chain.”