New Sweetgreen opening in Gaithersburg


Photo by Natalie Kiene

Sweetgreen sells healthy bowls at multiple locations in Montgomery County. This order contains quinoa, lettuce, sweet potato, mushrooms, tomatoes and chickpeas.

Sweetgreen is a fast-casual restaurant that has grown popular in the last few years for their warm and nutritious salads. Their first store opened in Washington, D.C., in August 2007. With over 158 stores, the restaurant chain has a new location open in Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg. It will be the fourth Sweetgreen in Montgomery County, with others in Bethesda, Downtown Silver Spring and Pike & Rose. 

Sweetgreen was founded by Georgetown graduates Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman after they were disappointed with the food options offered on campus. The restaurant has a variety of warm bowls to choose from. These options include the Miso Bowl, Harvest Bowl and Winter Power Bowl. Customers can also build their own bowls with a grain, green, protein source and other toppings. Bowls are usually around $10 – $15, which is more expensive than most fast food restaurants, but the ingredients are high quality, and healthier. 

Sweetgreen is a popular place for students to grab lunch or hang out. Students can go shopping and also have something to eat when they visit the city. Siblings Connor and Lexi Lindauer recently went to Sweetgreen for the first time and enjoyed their salads.

“I thought that the food was really good, it all was very flavorful and tasted fresh,” sophomore Lexi Lindauer said. “They don’t really tell you how the cost adds up when you make your own salads, I paid $1.50 for parmesan cheese.”

“It gives the similar vibes to those like “build your own places” and it’s very “instagrammable” so I think it’s definitely going to be a big thing for people who are looking for healthier options,” senior Connor Lindauer said. 

Fast food restaurants have a reputation as being unhealthy and damaging to the environment. According to , fast food makes up 49% of all litter in the US. Although some companies such as McDonalds and Starbucks are using eco-friendly packaging and paper straws, they have left a negative impact already. In addition, the type of food that is sold is often harmful. Beef is used in popular fast food burgers, but cows are one of the worst agricultural products for the environment, releasing methane into the atmosphere. Meat and dairy products will make up 70% of gas emissions by 2050. 

What is unique about Sweetgreen is that it is dedicated to not only serve healthy food, but also be sustainable. By the end of 2027, Sweetgreen has committed to become fully carbon neutral. The restaurant calculates the emissions associated with its menu items in kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO₂e). Their calculations reflect the carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of each ingredient. This is shown on the menu for each option alongside the nutritional information. Their options are on average 30% less carbon intensive than the average American meal. Because of this, customers will be able to make healthy choices that are sustainable for their body and the planet.