In just three years, Darcy Olson and Ruth Lundquist, founders and CEOs of Minneapolis-based Let’s Dish!®, have gone from having an idea brought about in a conversation to the reality of running a successful retail meal preparation chain with national ambitions.
Lundquist and Olson, who were on the cover of the January 2006 issue of Minnesota Business, will be sharing their entrepreneurial journey at the Flint Hills Resources Entrepreneur Speaker Series on Feb. 10 from 7:45-9 a.m. at the Dakota County Technical College Business and Entrepreneurship Institute. The Institute is housed in the Partners in Higher Education building at 14200 Cedar Ave. in Apple Valley and the event is free and open to the public.
In 2003, these two friends worked together to create a fully developed business plan designed to cater to the busy lifestyle of families today by providing a fun way for individuals to prepare fresh, craveable food for their families. Within just 10 months of developing the idea, Lundquist and Olson opened their first store in Eden Prairie.
Let’s Dish! allows customers to sign up for a two-hour ‘dish session’ at the store and time of their choice. The customers are given 16 different menu items from which to choose. When they come in for their session, the customer prepares a month’s worth of meals that are taken home and can be cooked at the customer’s convenience.
Let’s Dish! currently has four company-owned stores, including the national prototype in Apple Valley, along with six other locations. Let’s Dish! will soon be in eight states and has plans for national expansion with projections for 30 more stores in 2006.
Please join us to hear Olson and Lundquist share about their experiences starting Let’s Dish!