In Good Taste

Sweetgreen Opens in Harbor East on November 16

The salad chain expands healthy fare in harbor ’hood.

Sweetgreen, the DIY salad sensation, will be opening its first Baltimore location on Monday, Nov. 16, at 1306 Fleet Street.

This will be the fast-casual eateries 34th location in the United States.

With the opening of the 32-seat store (and an additional outdoor seating area in season), fans can count on Sweetgreen’s signature farm-fresh ingredients, from seasonal salads (curry cauliflower with quinoa, chicken, and tahini has our name on it) to kale casears to design your-own creations (spicy sunflower seeds and roasted sweet potatoes with organic arugula, please).

Whenever possible, ingredients like goat cheese and kale are sourced from area farms such as Firefly Farms in Western Maryland and Richardson Farms in White Marsh.

With shiplap board, barn-inspired walls, white wood banquets, and 17-foot ceilings, the 2,100-square-foot space will also carry through the farm feel. “All of our stores are built in a way that fits into the community,” says founder Nicolas Jammet, “and we make sure that our stores feel inviting and engaging.”

The first Sweetgreen opened in Georgetown in 2007, after health-conscious Jammet, Nathaniel Ru, and Jonathan Newman—then still seniors at Georgetown University—were seeking alternatives to typical college fare beyond burgers and pizza.

At the time, Washington, D.C. was something of a culinary desert.

“The three of us quickly became friends,” recalls Jammet, “and we realized that we had two things in common—we all grew up in entrepreneurial families, and we also had this issue of not having anywhere to eat around campus. We couldn’t find a place that fit our values, and we couldn’t understand why we couldn’t get healthy food that was both enjoyable and engaging.”

The trio came up with the idea of doing a salad-themed spot with locally sourced ingredients, which, at the time, was a novel idea.

Says Jammet, “It was simple idea with lots of possibilities that allowed us to create great flavors and put them all together in a bowl.”

After opening their first spot—a 500-square-foot space on M Street—the idea grew grander.

“At first, we were building this for ourselves,” explains Jammet, “but after we opened the first one, we realized that this was not only a problem for us and our friends, it was a problem for everyone and the country. We wanted to create something where people could feel good about their food and how it was sourced and how it was being cooked.”

While Sweetgreen has expanded throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, and even California, Jammet and his fellow founders are thrilled to be bringing the brand to Charm City.

“Baltimore has been on our radar for many years, and we’ve always understood that Baltimore is not part of D.C.,” says Jammet. “We’re exited about what a food town Baltimore is and how much people here love and respect their food.”