The fast-casual market of health-conscious foods continues to boom as Sweetgreen opens its first Twin Cities location, at the Galleria in Edina, on Sept. 12.
The rapidly-growing buzzy chain has made headlines for its vegetable-forward foods, innovative approach to the quick-meal market and commitment to sustainability. Its push into the Twin Cities also includes a site in the works inside the former Moose & Sadie's in the North Loop of Minneapolis, and there are reports that a third location will open on St. Paul's Grand Avenue.
Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 at Georgetown University when then-students Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru were sick of being surrounded by unhealthy fast-food options. The three decided to create a healthier but affordable option, with a focus on sourcing local ingredients. From that humble beginning, the company has grown precipitously and has become an innovator for what fast-casual can be: touting sustainability and using less-common ingredients (like kelp) in their bowls, championing workers by offering five months of paid parental leave to employees and working to become entirely carbon neutral.
As a result, the company has drawn an impressive list of supporters and fans. Hospitality titan Danny Meyer was an investor. Chef David Chang helped develop the kelp bowl recipe. Tennis star Naomi Osaka is a brand ambassador and investor.
For those planning to visit Sweetgreen, seasonal salads are mostly vegetarian with some meaty options. Bowls are around $10 to $14. The Edina location will also have a kids menu and dinner-forward plates, both new to Sweetgreen. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; there's indoor and outdoor seating, and online ordering is available, too.
Sweetgreen's sweep into the Twin Cities is part of a wave of fast-casual restaurants touting healthy food. Stalk & Spade opened another location Sept. 9 in the North Loop with giveaways of its plant-based food items. Crisp & Green continues to proliferate with plans to expand to 18 states. Both are owned by Steele Smiley. There's also Green and the Grain, with several locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul and a mobile operation.