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November 14, 2006 > Super Suppers – What’s for dinner?

Super Suppers – What’s for dinner?

by Vidya Pradhan

In our overscheduled society, one thing we’ve all become good at is multitasking. Whether it’s soccer practice, dental appointments, Halloween parties at school or conference calls at work, we road warriors try to do it all and have it all. Unfortunately, the one thing left by the wayside is the home cooked meal. Unlike cooking shows on TV, we don’t have an army of helpers doing all our prep work for us. To get a fresh meal on the table, we have to consult recipes, shop for groceries, do all the cutting and chopping before we actually make the meal. And suddenly, takeout looks especially attractive.

Located at 39164 State Street in central Fremont is the answer to every overworked woman’s prayer. Opened just four weeks ago, Super Suppers takes the hassle out of getting a healthy meal together for your family. They offer tasty specialties like Amish Chicken, a meal of seasoned, juicy chicken breasts baked on a bed of delicious, creamy rice in white wine sauce accented with a special savory topping. Or Baked Praline French Toast, a brunch casserole with layers of bread, sweet egg custard, pecans, and maple syrup.

The concept is something like this. Every month, Super Suppers provides a menu of 12 new entrees. The ingredients for the entrees are set up in spotless stainless steel stations with pans and kitchen utensils nearby. The customer uses the recipe card at the station to assemble the ingredients in freezable containers, labels them with cooking instructions, and voila, dinner for six is ready. The entrees typically serve six though they can be split in two for smaller families or lighter eaters. The food is certified by nutritionist and nutritional information is available at the company’s website. For those unexpected dinner guests, there is the Grab ‘n Go freezer where pre-made meals are available for immediate purchase.

Super Suppers is a national food preparation franchise headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Meal assembly franchises are a rising phenomenon in the U.S. and given our busy lives, there’s every indication that they will only become more popular and prolific as time goes by. Super Suppers, Dream Dinners, The Dinner Company, and Supper Made Simple are just a few of the food preparation franchises that have been started in recent years.

Founder Judie Byrd created Super Suppers as a healthy, delicious and easy way for busy people and families to spend more quality time around the dinner table. Already the founder of The Culinary School of Fort Worth, Byrd refined and tested the process for over a decade at The Culinary School before opening the first Super Suppers store in 2002.

Becky Carleton and Colleen Ganaye are franchise owners of Super Suppers in Fremont. They met as members of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) when both were looking for a new business opportunity. Both have very strong ties to the community and the Super Suppers idea seemed to them not just a profitable venture, but also a way of making the lives of community members a little easier.

With a lot of support from the Super Suppers franchise, Becky and Colleen started their operation about a month ago and are already finding the concept very popular. Their typical client is the busy mother who wants to do her best for the family. Girlfriends come in groups to cook together and have a good time, and the occasional husband or father have also been impressed with the ease and convenience of this service.

Both of these women are very hands on with their new enterprise. Like other Super Supper franchises, they do all the chopping and prepping. They also help with ingredients and advice and clean up after each assembly. As they put it, “You, the customer, gets to be Emeril.” On call helpers come in during busy times.

At around $3 per serving, the Super Suppers alternative seems cost effective. The company estimates that for every two hours spent assembling the meals, the average customer saves 20 to30 hours of shopping, prepping and cooking time. Another advantage is not having to stock the kitchen with every exotic ingredient and spice used to give food variety. Thawing time is an issue for last minute meal decisions, so Becky and Colleen offer a Grab ‘n Go section stocked with fresh meals so you can pick one up as you head home.

For more information visit their website at or call (510) 745-8270. You can also walk in without an appointment on any Wednesday to check it out.

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