The words “cult following” often bring to mind thoughts of Star Trek, Arrested Development, or even In-N-Out burgers. But fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen, too, has a dedicated fanbase—a group likely celebrating and eagerly anticipating its Southern arrival. With more than 120 locations across the United States, Sweetgreen is finally here in Georgia. Its Ponce City Market location soft opens this Friday and Saturday (June 4 and 5), with the official grand opening on June 8 (more on that below). Additional locations are planned for Colony Square and Lenox Square.
“We’ve been excited about Atlanta and drawn to this community for quite some time, and we’re thrilled to be joining the Ponce City Market neighborhood,” says Nicolas Jammet, Sweetgreen cofounder and chief concept officer. “Between the award-winning culinary scene, vibrant arts and entertainment districts, and strong community culture that permeates through the city, Atlanta felt like the next natural home for Sweetgreen.”
Sweetgreen’s menu includes a build-your-own option with bases such as warm quinoa, shredded kale, baby spinach, and arugula. Toppings include seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and proteins such as roasted shrimp and hard-boiled eggs. Pre-designed salads and bowls include kale Caesar and roasted tomato harvest with blacked chicken, goat cheese, basil, roasted almonds, shredded kale, warm wild rice, and balsamic vinaigrette. The Atlanta locations will be home to an exclusive item: a blackened catfish bowl with baby spinach, warm wild rice, shredded cabbage, raw carrots, red onions, basil, spicy sunflower seeds, and a Green Goddess ranch dressing.
Many ingredients will be sourced locally from purveyors like Allison’s Honey (wildflower honey), Calyroad Creamery (chèvre), Alon’s Bakery (rosemary focaccia), and Genuine Georgia (yellow peaches). Local artists affiliated with TILA Studios—a Black female visual arts incubator—were commissioned to decorate the Ponce City Market location.
To celebrate the grand opening on June 8, numerous promotions are planned, including free delivery for the first two weeks for mobile app orders. Hardcore fans who are among the first 50 in line on the 8th will receive a Nourish Botanica floral bouquet. The company will also contribute to Project South in support of Black Lives Matter.
Correction 6/8/21: The original headline of this story described Sweetgreen as an L.A. salad chain. While the company is currently based in the Los Angeles area, it was founded in Washington, D.C.