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LocalStove’s founders came up with the idea as a solution to food dissatisfaction on Penn’s campus | Courtesy of Wagaung/Wikimedia Commons

Whether you love to cook, live to eat or loath 1920 Commons’ herb-marinated chicken dinners, LocalStove plans to cater to the culinary and dietary interests of the Penn community.

Through LocalStove’s website, local cooks will be able to sign up and inform potential eaters what they are cooking for that day, how much they are making and what time the meal will be ready by. Anyone interested in indulging in a home-cooked meal can schedule to pick up the food at a convenient time from their neighborhood chef.

Steven Finn, Greg Dubin and Henrique Setton, co-founders of LocalStove and current Wharton MBA students, came up with the idea after realizing that they were not the only ones who were dissatisfied by the food options available on Penn’s campus.

“We were thoroughly disappointed in the food all-around campus. It was not necessarily cooked with the love that you want to eat,” Finn said.

“We wondered how we can make something profitable out of our passions. We loved to cook. We loved to eat,” Setton said.

After Finn and Dubin witnessed Setton bringing delicious, home-cooked meals to their various entrepreneurial club meetings, the trio realized that the Penn community would benefit from having this kind of quality food at their fingertips.

The three men bring different things to the table, literally and figuratively. Dubin is LocalStove’s communications expert, Finn is the team’s software engineer, and Setton focuses on the products for early startups.

“After our spark, everyone we talked to knows someone or is someone who is an amazing cook who has been told their whole life they should open up a restaurant,” Finn said. “They may not have the time, the flexibility, the money, whatever it is, but would cook in their spare time and sell it without having the business acumen to run a restaurant or dealing with the hours that they want.”

LocalStove did a pilot run for five days in the fall at Wharton, and it turned out to be very successful, Finn said. A majority of the customers came back an additional day for another home-cooked meal “made with love.”

LocalStove is focusing on launching in the University City and Center City neighborhoods with hopes of expanding in the future.

“Starting in Philly makes sense because here we have a huge food scene, and being a part of Philadelphia and this community here is extremely important to us,” Setton said. “We have plans of expanding to the broader Philly area and of course to other cities and metropolitan areas. We are looking to democratize this industry and bring very good food at an affordable cost.”

LocalStove plans to come to kitchens near Penn on Tuesday, April 19, with a free meal to anyone who refers a chef.

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