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Dream Dinners dishes up meals for customers

For decades, the dinner table has been the site of family gatherings to tell each other of daily events.

The hurried lifestyle of the 21st Century, however, robs many families of this opportunity. Dream Dinners, 11124 Kingston Pike, is out to bring families back to the dinner table by providing ready-to-cook meals for time-strapped working families.

The business is a partnership among owners Wendy and Russell Evans, Mark and Ann Williams and Becky Roberts, all of whom are Knox County residents.

“We decided to build in Farragut because the demographics showed this to be a great place for this type of store,” Roberts said. “We are the second one in the state of Tennessee.”

Roberts said the Dream Dinners process is simple: customers preview a monthly menu online at and select items from a menu featuring 14 dinners. These may include herb-crusted flank steak, pork chops with sweet ginger and apples and a plethora of other recipes. Customers register to attend a meal assembly session at the store and rotate among refrigerated recipe stations, assembling ingredients in a baking pan or zip-top freezer bag. Then they take the meals home and put them in the freezer for future use.

“The whole process takes about two hours to assemble twelve six-serving meals,” she said.

Price for the 12 meals ranges from $235 to $250.

What makes Dream Dinners different from similar stores in the Farragut area?

“We think our community involvement makes us different,” Roberts said.

Roberts said she and her partners have chosen the Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville as their charity.

Each month, the business donates about a dozen meals to the House for those in need.

“Our food is healthy,” she said. “The company has chefs on staff to prepare nutritious meals. These meals are kid tested and prove favorable with young


Roberts said she and her partners were weary of working for others and decided they wanted to own their own business. Each came from different walks of life, including nursing. They liked the meal quality of Dream Dinners, not to mention its goal of bringing the family together at dinner time.

Dream Dinners, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, was a 2006 winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Company franchises cost close to $250,000, but company growth shows a steady increase.

The company, started in 2002 in Snohomish, Wash., had four franchise locations in 2003. At the beginning of 2007, there were 178 franchise locations.

For more information on the store, call 865-777-3775.


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