A food business in Between, Ga. is growing rapidly

By Joshua Walker

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Julie Cook is the owner of Dinner in a Dash, a quaint meal supplier in Between, Ga. Dinner in a Dash was founded in 2012 as a company to cook and supply made-from-scratch meals to customers. The beginning of the company is quite unique. Cook says she had many people ask her about starting a restaurant because they enjoyed her cooking; however, Cook did not want the work hours associated with opening a restaurant.

Subsequently, she began preparing meals for people and ran the business out of her house.

“After starting this venture I found that in order to be properly licensed I would need to have a separate commercial kitchen,” Cook said, going on to explain how she then purchased her current Dinner in a Dash residence from her grandfather and transformed half of it into a commercial kitchen where she continued the operation.

View of the Dinner in a Dash sign and business base. (2017)
Contributed Photo

Over the next few years, Dinner in a Dash has expanded to make use of the entire house. A large pantry stocked with food items, a huge kitchen with stainless appliances, a newly-renovated room, and a reception area with refrigerators for customers to pick up their meals every Thursday are all features of the headquarters.

“Aside from learning about cooking and food prep,” employee Nick Walker said, “I learned that a lot goes into building and maintaining a business, and I have seen that putting customers first is key.” And Dinner in a Dash definitely focuses on their customer satisfaction. Not only are their meals homemade and delicious, they work tirelessly with their customers so that each one can end the day with a full stomach and happy smile. That isn’t an easy task, because Dinner in a Dash sells about 500 meals a week that can each feed 2-3 people.

Although Cook plans on expanding her customer base, she does not plan on advertising Dinner in a Dash due to one reason, “Our business has grown so quickly on its own, by the word of mouth…in fact we do not even have a website because we were a little bit afraid that it might go faster than what we could handle it if we have a website. We do have it on Facebook, and a lot of people respond to that.”

For now, the business sends out an email at the beginning of each week with its menu, and by Monday, each customer replies with their different choices.

“We do a variety in our menus. We do chicken dishes, we do pork dishes, we do beef dishes.” said Cook. Dinner in a Dash also can accommodate certain dietary restrictions by providing vegetarian meals and whole grain pasta.

As for the future of Dinner in a Dash, Cook plans on expanding her customer base and then selling her business one day. She does not see ever moving from her grandfather’s old home, but rather staying where the roots of the company are.

Cook says she knows what it is like to be a busy parent, and that she wanted to start Dinner in a Dash to accommodate those people to make their nights a little less stressful, but while also having the taste than can only come from a home cooked meal. Dinner in a Dash truly displays what a simple idea can grow into if you work hard, and always put your customers first.

Joshua Walker, Walnut Grove High School. Journalism Explorer with Your Local News, Inc. Contributed photo

Joshua Walker is a Journalism Explorer with Your Local News. He is a rising sophomore at Walnut Grove High School. You can read his bio here.

 

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