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An Herban Quality Eats plate made of seasoned spaghetti squash, vegan Jawn (made of white beans, lentils, sweet potato and quinoa), herbed tomato sauce, crispy rosemary potatoes and quinoa tabouli salad. | Courtesy of Amir Fardshisheh/Herban Quality Eats

The walk to 30th Street Station is about to get much more delicious.

Herban Quality Eats, a popular Philadelphia food delivery service founded by two Wharton 2013 MBA graduates, plans to open its first brick-and-mortar location this December at 36th and Market streets.

Herban has focused exclusively on delivery and catering since opening last year, preparing their food in a kitchen at 48th and Spruce streets. But founders Amir Fardshisheh and Kalefe Wright say they are ready and eager to open a sit-down space after working on their menu over the last several months and getting helpful feedback from the Penn population.

Unlike other fast-casual restaurants, Herban will serve “hearty, gourmet, homestyle type meals” loaded with nutrient-rich, natural ingredients. Many ingredients are organic or locally sourced from Lancaster County. The main menu item will be “build-your-own” platters, which will be prepared assembly-line style; customers will be able to choose a base, a protein, two sides and a sauce. Ingredients include red rice, kale, chicken, salmon, quinoa and sweet potato mash, among many others. The restaurant will also sell sandwiches, salads, snacks and beverages. Platters will be between $8 and $12, and sandwiches will be around $7. Herban’s menu will also include vegetarian and gluten-free options.

The founders hope to evoke a “hip, trendy vibe,” in their restaurant, Fardshisheh said, through minimalist and industrialist decor with a touch of “artistic flair.” They plan to have a graffiti-style mural on the wall and Banksy-inspired artwork. The pair hasn’t yet decided on the Herban playlist, though; they are trying to figure out if Ellie Goulding is too up-tempo and if they should stay “more on the Drake side,” Wright said.

Fardshisheh and Wright met as Wharton students and share a passion for food and nutrition. Even before starting business school, Wright knew he wanted to start a business related to health and wellness. Fardshisheh identifies himself as someone who “likes being fit but didn’t have anywhere to eat except salad [restaurants].”

Given their shared interests and the gap they saw in the restaurant market, the two decided to launch Herban and “create a brand that can really be authentic about its values … and try to do it at an affordable price and [with] food that’s delicious,” Fardshisheh said.

The duo are also starting up a series of nutrition education workshops which will hopefully take place weekly at their University City location. Fardshisheh describes it as a “genius bar in an Apple store but instead of getting your laptop figured out, you’re getting your body figured out.” Topics would include how the body processes food, the upsides of eating fat and the perils of high-fructose corn syrup.

Herban’s founders hope to give Penn students and the general Philadelphia community access to a new type of fast-casual restaurant that emphasizes nutrient-rich yet accessible food.

“Our product is so simple … it is what people will eat and say, ‘Why didn’t someone do this sooner?’’ Fardshisheh said.

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