Dinnertime Is Family Time: How One Dream Dinners Owner in Indiana Is Helping Families Discover the Power of Family Meals
For Indianapolis-Castleton Dream Dinners store owner Stacey Hiller, dinnertime has always been family time.
“I grew up in a family that owned and operated a restaurant/bar for a while and also did some catering. Every family gathering was a food-filled party, and our entire extended family loved to cook and eat. That was my normal,” said Stacey.
However, it wasn’t until later in life that Stacey observed the impact of the family meal first-hand. During graduate school, Stacey spent two summers working at a residential summer school for children with developmental delays, where she ate three family-style meals with her campers each day and immediately noticed the positive effect it had on them. The experience inspired Stacey to begin working as a speech pathologist with a specialty in feeding therapy.
After marrying her college sweetheart and starting her own family, Stacey and her husband found themselves at a crossroads in life. That’s when they saw a news segment about Dream Dinners on television and immediately recognized that it could be a perfect fit for their next adventure in life. After seeing Dream Dinners’ mission come alive by visiting several other franchise locations, Stacey and her husband opened the Indianapolis-Castleton Dream Dinners in August of 2005.
Dream Dinners quickly became a part of the Hiller family’s identity. Over the eleven years that Stacey has owned her Dream Dinners franchise, three of her four children have worked in the store—and all of them have helped to prepare and cook the meals. In fact, her oldest son became such a fan of Dream Dinners’ “homemade, made easy” meals that even after moving out he and his roommates would pool money together to order Dream Dinners and have a family-style dinner several times a week.
“I absolutely love time around the table with my own family, and being able to give that gift to others is the best part of owning a Dream Dinners franchise for me,” said Stacey.
In addition to owning her franchise, Stacey has also continued her work as a speech pathologist throughout the years. She has even noticed opportunities for her two occupations to work together, such as when she teaches her older speech clients how to cook or uses the kitchen to help teach reading, math, and fine motor skills. Stacey says she loves when her two passions in life are able to come together in such a beautiful way.
“I truly love hearing our guests say how much getting around the table with their family means to them. It still gets me every time, even after all these years.”
Stacey’s path to becoming a franchise owner is just one of many unique stories in the family of Dream Dinners franchisees. If you are passionate about growing great kids and feel inspired to help bring families back around the dinner table, click here to learn more about becoming a Dream Dinners franchise owner.