On December 9, 2014, Eater senior editor Hillary Dixler tweeted a sentiment shared, no doubt, by hundreds — if not thousands — of people who worked in midtown Manhattan. She wanted a nearby Sweetgreen.
Not too long ago, Dixler’s desires took form: Sweetgreen announced a Bryant Park location, starting construction on a storefront just north of the park, on Sixth Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets. And there in the window, printed in summery white and green, is all but one word of her tweet, and below it, the brand’s reply: “To @hillarydixler: Suggestion, heeded — We’re coming!”
Eater sat down for an exclusive interview with Dixler, whose twitter wizardry (twizardry?) has willed a Sweetgreen into being, and whose desire for a lower-Midtown opportunity to purchase ethically crafted fast-casual salads is now on the verge of being fulfilled.
What was going through your mind when you sent that fateful tweet back in 2014?
I sent the tweet at 2:40 p.m., which means I was probably irritated by whatever I had scrounged together for lunch around Eater's former office at 40th Street and Sixth Avenue [Ed: As of 2017, Eater HQ is now located in the Financial District.] I had a hunch that a Sweetgreen in easy walking distance would do well, and that I would also probably buy pricey salads there often if it were to exist. I eat a lot of salad.
Did you expect your tweet to change the fabric of reality?
Nope. I expected my tweet to do what most of my tweets do: garner some low level engagement from people on the internet. I did genuinely think it was a good idea, though. But Sweetgreen didn’t reply or fave or anything.
How did you become aware that your tweet was adorning the window of Sweetgreen's new Bryant Park location?
Hillary Dixler [7:47 AM]
I have no recollection of tweeting this
Does [Eater New York] know
Do you feel particularly emotionally attached to Sweetgreen, as a brand, now?
I feel slightly peeved, but also slightly famous.
How does it feel to have concrete proof that your tweets aren't just a practice of shouting fruitlessly into the void, but actually create real, meaningful, commercial change?
Maybe all of it is void? The tweets, the windows of the new Sweetgreen, the salads inside the new Sweetgreen. Maybe none of it is real. Certainly none of it matters.
As an Eater editor, does your tweet appearing on Sweetgreen signage represent any official endorsement of the products or services offered?
No. It was a passing thought from 2014 when I worked near Bryant Park and didn't particularly love my lunch salad options.
Are you planning to visit this new Sweetgreen that you willed into existence, and with which your life is now inextricably entwined?
Probably not. I live in San Francisco now.