Fast-growing salad chain Sweetgreen, which has been backed by tech investors, is experiencing a minor setback at its New York City location in the NoMad district.
Specifically, the Department of Health shut the NoMad outpost down “for evidence of live mice, among other things,” according to Gothamist, which first reported the story.
Gothamist tipster Ryan Eugene Kelley sent the publication a picture of the shuttered storefront, which had a big sticker from the Department of Health ordering the restaurant be closed.
“People would come up and read the sign, which was printed pretty small, and then be grossed out,” Kelley told Gothamist.
The restaurant’s NoMad location received 40 violation points on the DOH’s website, which says the most recent inspection occurred on Jan. 20. During that inspection, the restaurant received citations including “Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas” and “filth flies/refuse/sewage-associated flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.”
On the front door of its NoMad location, Sweetgreen posted the following statement from Sweetgreen’s cofounders. The company also provided the same statement when reached for comment:
In our company manifesto, we talk about keeping it real. This is one of those moments, and there’s nothing more we can do but be real with you, our customers.
We take pride in our stores, in our employees, in the food we serve and most importantly, in our relationship with you. As a young, growing company, we are constantly striving to be the best, and along with that comes learning from challenges we encounter along the way, both good and bad. We discovered flaws with the construction of our facility that have led to pest issues. These issues had no direct impact on the food we served our customers. We’re working around the clock to fix these violations and will be back up and running as soon as possible.
We will be back and we will be better. We hope you’ll be with us. Please do not hesitate to email us with any questions at all. You can reach us directly at [email protected]
Nathaniel, Nicolas + Jonathan
Sweetgreen, founded in 2007, has received $US40 million from tech investors, most recently raising an $US18.5 million round of funding in November 2014 from Red Sea Ventures and Revolution Growth, an investment fund from AOL cofounder Steve Case and fellow former AOL execs Ted Leonsis and Donn Davis. Behance cofounder Scott Belsky, Stonyfield Farm founder Gary Hirshberg, and restaurateurs Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud also contributed to the round of funding. The company’s focus is on locally sourced ingredients and serving quick, healthy, and affordable salads.