Meet Our Guest: Jonathan Neman
We were psyched to learn that the three-man, mid-twenties team behind new hit DC restaurant chain Sweetgreen chose us as their Art Basel hub. If you haven’t heard about Sweetgreen, here’s the skinny: it provides fast, fun, and healthy food to consumers in the DC and Philadelphia metro areas and also helms the annual Sweetlife Food & Music Festival, which included acts like The Shins, Kid Cudi, and Zola Jesus last year. We got the chance to chat with co-founder Jonathan Neman and pick his brain a bit about both business and pleasure.
Freehand Miami: What brought you to Freehand Miami?
Freehand Miami: You guys started dreaming up ideas together back in college. Did staying in a room together at Freehand Miami bring back any late-night brainstorming memories?
Jonathan: Yes definitely felt like we’re back in the dorm room, just with a lot more style and more comfortable bed. Prettier girls here than at Georgetown too.
Freehand Miami: We love Sweetgreen’s emphasis on community and sustainability. How did your “food that fits” philosophy evolve?
Jonathan: It originally started as an extension of our personalities, just a place that we wished existed while we were in school. Over the years, we refined the concept and are now really focused on bringing together unusual combinations that inspire and creating experiences where passion and purpose intersect.
Freehand Miami: You guys interview a lot of fitness partners on your blog. What kind of workout regimens do you follow?
Jonathan: I’m super into yoga and practice almost daily. It’s the best workout for your mind + body. Whenever I get the chance, I also love to surf, snowboard and hike… really anything outdoors.
Freehand Miami: Which Sweetgreen salad best describes each of your personalities?
Jonathan: Let’s go with the Spicy Sabzi—it’s “green” in Farsi.
Freehand Miami: What’s your favorite thing to do in Miami?
Jonathan: Scooter, swim and stone-crab.
Freehand Miami: Can we expect to see Sweetgreen here in the future?
Jonathan: Yes. Can’t say when, but it will definitely happen.
Freehand Miami: What’s your advice to young people with big entrepreneurial ideas?
Jonathan: Dream big, write it down, and don’t take no for an answer. Fortune favors the bold.