Good quality food at an affordable price may seem like an oxymoron for some. But for the guys at Herban Quality Eats, it’s their business model.

Working out of rented kitchen space at the Enterprise Center on 48th and Spruce, Amir Fardshisheh and Kalefe Wright, co founders of Herban Quality Eats and Penn alums, are on a mission to bring nutrient rich, thoughtfully prepared food to University City.

 “Midway through my second year I thought why can’t I find healthy food that tastes good and gives me what I want, and I noticed that my friends were having the same issue as well,” said Fardshisheh.  He soon collaborated with Wright to create a company revolving around healthy comforting foods.

They took the recipes they had grown up with and turned them into “fast casual” food that could be made, ready to order, for dinner delivery. “We are the customer too…and pay attention to the details,” Fardshisheh said. In the absence of physical location and the start of the school year, they decided to try and feed students in University City with their delivery–based business plan.

Wright handles the day-to-day operations and their chef Chris Paul, a graduate of Drexel, is the head chef. However, its all hands on deck in the kitchen when preparations begin for dinner deliveries.

The menu is based off the ability to “build your own plate” with a base (like kale or lentils), a protein, an option of two side dishes and a sauce. Everything is made from scratch using as few ingredients as possible to preserve the taste and integrity of the products. For example, the sweet potato mash, a big menu hit, is made from only five ingredients: coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, pepper and sunflower seeds. All the food is locally inspired with some international flair.

Herban Quality Eats doesn’t use any artificial preservative or additives in their foods, all the while trying to source the food as locally and organically as possible. The food isn’t meant to be low calorie, low carb, and low fat. Instead, the focus is on food made from ingredients that are good for you, which can form the basis of your day to day meals. “We learned that counting calories does not work and the thing that works is eating nutrient dense food and getting away from the calorie count,” said Wright.

The food can be ordered online through their website and orders can also be placed over the phone. In a few weeks, the team hopes to have an app launched that enables orders as well. There is no delivery fee and average delivery time takes about 30 minutes.

The team came to visit the 34th Street office and supplied dinner for a (ed. note: very fucking tired and hungry) staff. General consensus showed that the food tasted great and was definitely worth the low price. The most striking thing, though, was that the food tasted like it was homemade. Even high quality restaurant food is in some way or another distinguishable from a home cooked meal. 

“We think we have a concept that everyone can enjoy,” said Wright. And we think he’s right.