Nicole Capp and Justin Sapolsky's big entrepreneurship project at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School was a business plan for a restaurant specializing in modern Italian sandwiches. It got into the finals of Wharton's business-plan competition.
And so, with the ink barely dry on their diplomas, Matt & Marie's is planning a Monday, June 30 opening in Two Logan Square (18th Street, north of Arch Street).
It's a bright, snappy-looking fast-casual spot with a huge mural and communal seating.
The business partners - he's 28 and from Long Island, she's 26 and from Brooklyn - hired Ryan Smith, executive chef at New York Vintners and a sandwich specialist, to devise a simple menu of seven sandwiches using quality ingredients that you'd find on a better restaurant's charcuterie board.
All sandwiches ($8.50 each) are designed to hit flavor profiles of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.
They started out - barely two months after meeting in class - by catering.
It's a weekday operation that starts early in the morning with coffee before segueing into lunch.
Oh, and who's Matt and Marie? It's their middle names.