Capital Buzz: Revolution Growth puts some green into Sweetgreen

December 8, 2013

Last month it was T-shirts. This month, it’s leafy lunchers.

Revolution Growth, the District-based venture fund known for high-tech investments, is going organic.

Led by former AOL kingpins Steve Case, Ted Leonsis and Donn Davis, Revolution is putting $22 million into the homegrown salad store Sweetgreen, which was founded by three Georgetown graduates.

Case joins the board.

Six-year-old Sweetgreen, which goes head-to-head against Chop’t for the salad crowd, has a cult-like following with 23 locations in the District, Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Boston and New York City, with more to follow in New York’s Tribeca, Center City in Philadelphia and the Yards in Southeast.

”The half-trillion-dollar restaurant business is ripe for disruption,” Case said. “People in their 20s and 30s are eating healthier than they were 10 years ago. And there is a mega-trend toward even healthier food options. Our bet is that healthier options will become a robust sector, and no company is better positioned to lead that than Sweetgreen.”

Revolution manages a $450 million fund founded two years ago to help use what it calls “speed up” capital to grow companies worth $100 million into companies worth far more.

Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 by Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru, all Georgetown University graduates who were just a few months out of school.

In November, Revolution announced a $40 million investment in Northern Virginia-based ­T-shirt company CustomInk.

CustomInk, founded by Marc Katz, allows customers to design T-shirts for family reunions, small businesses, religious groups or student associations online.

Talking baseball

Local filmmaker Aviva Kempner was in the fancy suites at Boston’s Fenway Park last week celebrating the publication of “The Kid,” Ben Bradlee Jr.’s bio of Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams.

Attendees included lots of current and former Boston Globe journalists, as well as Red Sox president and part owner (and former Orioles part-owner and former Williams & Connelly partner) Larry Lucchino, and Joe Bradlee. Joe is grandson of The Washington Post legendary editor Benjamin C. Bradlee.

“There were lots of Globers,” said Kempner, who was in Beantown to interview subjects for her current film project on Julius Rosenwald, who led Sears, Roebuck and Co. a century ago and became known for his philanthropy. “I’ve never seen Fenway that quiet. I was just there with Ben Bradlee’s grandson, talking baseball. The grandson, Joe, attends Union College and said he is debating going into journalism.”

Kempner, who lives in Northwest D.C. and is best known for her documentary on Detroit Tiger star Hank Greenberg, said she is also planning to do a film on baseball catcher/spy (we are not kidding) Moe Berg, who ended his career as a player, and later a coach, with the Red Sox.

The Buzz hears:

Farr, Miller & Washington, the District-based firm that invests on behalf of wealthy individuals and institutions, hit $1 billion in assets under management. The company is headed by Michael Farr, who is a frequent contributor to CNBC.

The Corporate Huddle, an invitation-only meet-up between former athletes and top local executives, plans a District chapter. The nonprofit, which opened in Tysons Corner last May, hosted Fairfax software maker 3Pillar Global executive David Dewolf at its last meeting. Members include Acentia chief executive Todd Stottlemyer.

Orangetheory Fitness, based in Florida, is holding a VIP reception Dec. 11 at its first facility in the Washington market in the Greenbriar Town Centre in Fairfax. A Gaithersburg location is set to open in January, and three more within the next year in Arlington, Loudoun and the District. Owner Alan Luchnick, who has an apartment in Fairfax, hired a broker from GSC Real Estate and toured the area looking for locations. “The demographics are there,” Luchnick said of the Washington market. “It’s a smart market. It’s an educated market, and this is an educated product.”

Roger Marmet, the former Discovery Communications executive and now the man behind Ripple restaurant in Cleveland Park, is to open Roofers Union in Adams Morgan next month. The new eatery will be built around a menu by Ripple chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley.

Factoid of the week

350 hoursThat’s how long it takes to decorate the Wishing Tree in lobby of the Ritz-Carlton on 22nd Street NW, which went up for display Nov. 29. The hotel’s pastry elves spend 24 hours and use 15 pounds of icing creating the gingerbread ornaments, such as the one above. In all, three pounds of eggs (whites only), 13 pounds of sugar and a cup of lemon juice go into the recipe. The tree holds the wishes for some 50 preschool-aged children from Martha’s Table, which provides food for disadvantaged children.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
SECTION: {section=business, subsection=capitalbusiness}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=business, subsection=capitalbusiness}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=15, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments
Most Read Business