Clark County at Work: Dream Dinners

By Mary Ricks, Columbian news assistant

Published:

 
photoBecky Sims, co-owner of Dream Dinners, talks to Janet Cooper of Longview.

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Business name: Dream Dinners.

Owners: Becky and Mike Sims.

Address: 616 N.E. 81st St., Suite D.

What the business does: Dream Dinners provides an option for families that want home-cooked meals but don’t have time to do all the work. The company brings together pre-cut ingredients and recipes, which customers assemble to freeze at home and then cook later.

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How has the economy affected your business: In 2008, Mike and Becky Sims were expecting a child and Mike lost his job. Despite the pressures created by the economy and their personal situations, in 2009 they decided to buy Dream Dinners, which at the time was struggling to pay the rent with only about 20 customers. Even though the economy has not made a strong recovery, a focus on customer service and on creating a family-friendly store environment helped the business to grow, Becky Sims said. In 2 years they have increased their sales by more than 600 percent.

Greatest challenge: Knowing how to let go. The fine art of delegation is not something she comes by naturally, said Becky Sims, adding she has learned to analyze what her strengths are and hire people to compensate for her weaknesses.

What’s ahead: Dream Dinners will celebrate its 10th anniversary with an open house 5-7 p.m. March 1. There will be sample entrees from the March menu. A new website will debut later in 2012.

Year established in Clark County: Company was founded in 2002; the Sims bought the franchise in May 2009.

Employees: Six.

Telephone: 360-571-2306.

Fax: 360-695-0395.

Email:becky.sims@dreamdinners.com.

Website:http://www.dreamdinners.com.Hours: Numerous meal assembly sessions available.