Sweetgreen offering healthy, quick meals for students

A new Sweetgreen location near campus offers a variety of salads and bowls made with locally sourced ingredients.


Image by Ethan Lambert

The restaurant chain, founded by two college students in 2007, aims to provide students with healthy meals on the go.

by Kate Prom

Sweetgreen, a quick and healthy food option opened on Feb. 14 on the University of Minnesota campus near the Graduate Hotel. The restaurant offers a selection of bowls, salads and plates for students who are looking for a healthy meal on-the-go.

Sweetgreen differentiates itself from competing fast food and fast casual restaurants with its sustainably and locally sourced ingredients, said Amanda Katz, a representative for Sweetgreen, in an email sent to the Minnesota Daily

Sweetgreen made headlines in 2021 after the company’s CEO and co-founder Jonathan Neman wrote in a now-deleted LinkedIn post that vaccines and masks would not “save us” from COVID-19. He wrote Americans are too fat to survive the virus and that there should be “health mandates” to combat this.

Neman later apologized to Sweetgreen’s employees. According to Neman’s LinkedIn, he is still the company’s CEO and has been since 2007.

Sweetgreen at UMN 

Madeline Upson, a third-year student at the University, is an ambassador for Sweetgreen and visited the new location on opening day.

Upson said she loves the wide variety of bowls that Sweetgreen offers, which is why she decided to become an ambassador for the brand about a week before the new location opened. As an ambassador, she promotes the brand on social media, “especially when new stores open.”

“I think Sweetgreen is a great new option on campus for healthy meals – I love their food,” Upson said. “Sweetgreen offers a lot of hot options in addition to cold salads, which is really nice if I am not in the mood for a cold salad. I would definitely recommend students to visit.”

Katz said the brand decided to add a location on campus after opening multiple locations in the Twin Cities metro area.

“Sweetgreen is always looking to expand its footprint in an effort to connect more people to real food,” Katz said. “After its initial expansion into Minnesota, opening locations at Galleria Edina, on Grand Avenue and in the North Loop, Sweetgreen wanted to open up at the University of Minnesota to provide healthy food to the busy and hardworking students who are looking for real, fresh food options on campus.”

Sweetgreen was founded by two college students at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 2007 to provide convenient and healthy food options on college campuses.

“Sweetgreen is something that you could eat every day and something that makes people feel good. Sweetgreen’s goal is to make healthy food both satisfying and convenient,” Katz said. ”With nearly 40 fresh ingredients prepared every morning, there are endless options for students to feel fueled and nourished.”

In addition to offering healthy meals to students, Sweetgreen also aims to connect with the community and local vendors surrounding the campus, according to Katz.

“With every new restaurant opening, Sweetgreen aims to impact the community not only by serving healthy food but by working with a local impact partner and regional suppliers,” Katz said. “For every meal sold during the University of Minnesota’s opening day, Sweetgreen donated a meal to Urban Ventures to nourish Minnesotans experiencing food insecurity.”

Anna Hopper, a fourth-year student in the University’s nursing program, said she visited Sweetgreen before it even opened during their “sneak peak” week and she got a free bowl.

“I got the pesto salad bowl and it was so good,” Hopper said. “I could definitely compare it to CRISP & GREEN, but I would say it was better and a bit cheaper.”

Hopper said she enjoyed her Sweetgreen bowl in store at the new restaurant and noted the positive ambiance of the store overall.

“Everything was really fresh and the interior of the restaurant was so cool. They had all the ingredients they use in store on the wall and every ingredient was locally sourced. You could see where everything was from,” Hopper said. “I love the location because it is a healthy option right at the center of campus and near the gym, which is perfect. I would definitely go back.”