The Dream Dinners story
Named “the grandmother” of fix-and-freeze businesses by TIME magazine, Dream Dinners originated the concept of innovative and convenient dinner assembly stores. Created by working mothers Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, the Snohomish, Washington-based company was the first to roll out this time-saving concept on a national scale.
Dream Dinners evolved from the homegrown practice of co-founder Stephanie Allen, a working mom, who began making fix-and-freeze meals for her family in 1986. By preparing and freezing entrees using fresh raw ingredients, Allen improved on traditional pre-cooked methods, resulting in better tasting meals. She refined the process for efficiency and began developing specialized recipes and menus.
Friends showered Allen with requests to share her secret method for time-saving meal preparation. When the demand became overwhelming, Allen enlisted the help of long-time friend and experienced business manager Tina Kuna. The partners hosted the first series of large-scale meal assembly sessions in March 2002, which became the catalyst for opening the first Dream Dinners store three months later.
Within six months, the company expanded to two new Seattle-area locations. By early 2003, the Dream Dinners concept attracted national media coverage, and the company began receiving thousands of unsolicited franchise inquiries from potential owners across the country. The partners expanded their business model and established a national franchise in June 2003. Allen and Kuna signed 35 new stores in the first six months, selecting from more than 6,800 applications.
In less than three years, Dream Dinners rocketed from a smart concept to a thriving national brand. Allen and Kuna’s commitment to make people’s lives easier and restore the tradition of family meals together propels them forward.
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