Our Food Ethos

We believe the choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from and how it's prepared have a direct and powerful impact on the health of individuals, communities and the environment.

We’re always looking for ways to source smarter, to make better decisions and to help sweetgreen and its customers be a positive force in the world and on the food system. We feel a great sense of responsibility and pride to change what it means to be in the business of feeding people.

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scratch cooking

We get whole vegetables, whole fruits and whole grains delivered to our stores every morning. Our team dices, slices, spices and roasts in-house every day because food tastes better when it’s made fresh.

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transparency

We believe in a transparent supply chain, and we go to great lengths to work with farmers (currently ~500) who are doing the right thing. In our stores, you can see the sources listed on the wall, and you can watch us prep all the food in our open kitchens.

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sustainability

We pride ourselves on sustainability, from store design and waste management to the food we serve. Society can’t afford not to think and eat sustainably, and sweetgreen takes steps to positively impact the food system.

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local sourcing

We source from partners and growers we know and trust, letting their farming dictate our menu. We go to great lengths to work with farmers who are doing the right thing, and we source locally where possible.

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food safety

We follow Mother Nature’s lead. Food tastes best when it’s in season, so we’re dedicated to sourcing the freshest, locally grown and most delicious foods available. From farm to store, every team member goes through rigorous food safety training to ensure that not only is our food as fresh as possible, but safe and craveable in every bite. 

A FEW FACES FROM OUR

SUPPLY NETWORK

Ward's Berry Farm | Jim Ward
Sharon, MA

I love a lot of things about farming – the science, the biology, the chemistry – but I love feeding people.

HOW WE MET

We first met Jim in 2013 – his farm was the site for our first team orientation in Boston. Jim’s spoken at our annual IMPACT retreat about seasonality, his favorite food memory and making a living as a farmer in the harsh climate of the Northeast. This past winter, we sourced 7,000 pounds of Hubbard Squash — a winter squash native to new England — for our apples + squash salad after our Food + Beverage team took a visit to the farm to see what Jim was growing.

WHAT WE SOURCE

berries zucchini hubbard squash yellow squash
Clark Street Bread | Zack Hall
Los Angeles, CA

The recipes are really simple. It’s just organic flour, water and salt, really. You use simple, high-quality ingredients to start, and then it’s the same thing as making a good tomato salad — you use tomatoes that are in season, and your job is not to f*ck up what nature did great.

HOW WE MET

Zack Hall went to high school with our founder Jonathan Neman — they were friends of friends. After an attempt at becoming a musician, Zack turned to baking. His “old world” breads are made with organic ingredients, and he shares our commitment to simple recipes. Ever since Zack told Jonathan about his bread venture a few years back, Jonathan said he’d keep in touch, as sweetgreen would be expanding to LA soon. Casey met Zack in the apartment where he started baking — a venue that would normally be a non-starter, but his bread was so amazing that we believed him when he said he would be in a real bakery before our first location opened. Sure enough, he was, and sweetgreen West 3rd Street opened in May 2015 with whole wheat loaves from Clark Street Bread.

WHAT WE SOURCE

organic whole wheat bread
Full Belly Farm | Dru Rivers + Paul Muller
Capay Valley, CA

We want to build a regional economy of farms that are profitable and recreate a healthy rural economy. There’s a social question here about how the food system builds itself back up and generates healthier communities, and I think the solution is collaborative sourcing — looking to a region and planting with them, focusing on these farms to help them reach their capacity and fulfill demand

HOW WE MET

We visited Dru and Paul in April 2016 with our friends from General Produce. We sat around a table and envisioned what a sustainable food system would look like. Over a fresh meal of green beans, roasted beets, fresh asparagus and carrot bread, we spent some time talking about the current state of the American food system, listening to Dru and Paul’s story about starting an organic farm in 1982 and talking about how to rebuild the food system to better support local economies and healthier eating.

WHAT WE SOURCE

organic romaine broccoli leaf
Pacific Seafood | Bill Clark
Nespelem, WA

There’s a lot of things people don’t understand about farmed fishing. we have to feed the masses, and we can’t rip the oceans apart to do it. We have to look at alternative sources of protein to feed the fish, and we need to find alternative sources to feed the people, too.

HOW WE MET

In 2014, we started looking into bringing salmon onto the menu and tried a few sustainable varieties. But when we heard about farm-raised steelhead from the Columbia River with a green rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, we had to see it for ourselves. We met the team at Pacific Seafood in December and put steelhead on the menu in January. It’s a sustainable fish that, to us, represents the future of food, and we’re proud to source and serve it at sweetgreen.

WHAT WE SOURCE

Columbia River Steelhead