Ben Friedman, a Seattle native, received his Bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a focus on advertising and sociology. Living in Boston and interning between his junior and senior year of college, Friedman reconnected with kindergarten classmate, Brad Gillis to hatch a plan for a sustainable sandwich shop. He attended University of Washington to obtain a certificate in commercial real estate while negotiating Homegrown’s first leases. Both business partners were just 22 when they finalized Homegrown’s vision. Just a year later in 2009, Friedman and Gillis opened the first Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches location in Fremont, Washington. Since the launch, the pair opened nine other locations across the Seattle Area and plan to open another three in San Francisco in 2016/17. In January 2016, Friedman was included in Forbes ‘30 under 30’. Friedman also volunteers with Jolkona, a nonprofit that educates, empowers and engages a new generation of social entrepreneurs.
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