Green is sweet at Sweetgreen

By Jenay Smith
May 1, 2012

For your organic, vegetarian or vegan, eco-friendly fanatic friend, Sweetgreen just may be their new home.

Organic restaurant Sweetgreen has been around since 2007. The first Sweetgreen started in Washington, D.C. Since then they have accumulated 10 Sweetgreen locations.

Sweetgreen has two local restaurants, one on the 3900 block of Walnut Street near the University of Pennsylvania and the other in Ardmore.

It offers a variety of salads  with the option of making your own.

One salad it offers is the guacamole greens, which includes mesclun with roasted chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onions, crushed tortilla chips, topped with lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette and a fresh lime squeeze.

Almost all Sweetgreens ingredients are locally grown and everything is organic. According to the website all their protein ingredients are hormone free, antibiotic free and all natural.

There are also sweetflow options for customers. This includes organic plain tart frozen yogurt (fat-free). You can add three fruit or crunch toppings.

Sweetgreen is also eco-friendly. Alonside the trashcan are containers for recycling and composting. The compost bin allows patrons to properly dispose of their non-oil-plant-based packaging.

It also offer the opportunity to purchase reusable containers.

Salad blasters are what they call them. You can come into Sweetgreen and purchase the container for $5 along with your salad.

By purchasing the bowl there are financial perks when you bring it back.

“Instead of wasting a plastic bowl you bring it back and every time you get 50 cents off,” David  Lopez, manager of Sweetgreen, said.

This helps keep the use of paper and plastic down and encourages customers to do the same when they visit Sweetgreen.

Lopez describes it as a pretty good deal. The soup featured last week was spring leek and asparagus.

Every week Sweetgreen features a new soup.

The restaurant not only sells fresh food but homemade drinks as well. Lopez added that the strawberry lemonade is made from pure local strawberries.

Working at Sweetgreen is also a stress-free job and in a very relaxed environment.

“You don’t ever get stressed out,” Lopez said.

The design of Sweetgreen is unique because of the materials used.

It uses reclaimed and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified materials in their construction. All the furniture is made out of reclaimed wood or old bowling alley wood and uses low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint and wall coverings.

Wood lines more than the frame of the store; it’s on the walls in some areas. Printed trees adorn other areas on the walls with the base coat of the whole store being grass green.

As you look around, wooden furniture completes the eco-friendly look of Sweetgreen.

This look brightens up the mood of the employees and customers as well. This could be one of the reasons why Sweetgreen is such a peaceful place to work.

Walking into Sweetgreen is like walking into another world. To add onto the list they offset 100 percent of their energy with wind energy credits. They also have solar panels on the roof of certain stores. Their customers are new to the store but loyal.

Customer Janie Kim has been coming to Sweetgreen for about two months. Coming to Sweetgreen is convenient for Kim because it’s on her way home.

What she enjoys most about the restaurant is the quality of their ingredients.

Kim’s favorite ingredients to get on her salad is parmesan crisps.

Maggie, also a customer, comes to Sweetgreen about twice a week. She has been coming since it opened and she loves the variety of ingredients they have to offer.

Sweetgreen is the ideal place for customers who want variety when making their salad, love a relaxed setting and want to be eco-friendly.

“We love it here,” Lopez said.

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Jenay Smith

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