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CHARLESTON, S.C. - SomeIf Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. (Piggly Wiggly) based here inked a licensing agreement with Snonomish, Wash.-based Dream Dinners, a pioneer in the fast-growing meal assembly industry, to open the first such concept within the walls of a grocery store.
The first franchised Dream Dinners/Piggly Wiggly location will launch in coming weeks in Columbia, S.C., at the grocer's Forest Park location. Expansion is planned for multiple locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the chain said.
"The partnership was a natural fit for Piggly Wiggly," said Robert Masche, Piggly Wiggly Carolina's c.e.o. "Whether our guests want to cook a meal from scratch, pick up a prepared Deli Meal-to-Go, or save time and assemble meals through Dream Dinners - now we can provide it all."
Brenda Watts, Dream Dinners' director of store development told Progressive Grocer the meal assembly organization has "always pursued partners in the supermarket industry, and we will continue to do so. We believe [the deal with Piggly Wiggly] is a great partnership, and will be a great draw" for both parties.
Although many consider meal assembly operations and supermarkets to be a threat to one another, Watts said, "We've never believed that. We would love to be in other supermarkets."
Piggly Wiggly approached Dream Dinners with the opportunity, the latter's executives said. "Our companies share the same vision to empower our guests to provide the best options for their families," said Dream Dinners co-founder Tina Kuna.
With more than 115 stores and over 5,000 employee owners throughout South Carolina and the southeastern regions of Georgia and North Carolina, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. is the largest employee-owned, privately operated retail company in South Carolina.
By early 2007, there will be more than 200 Dream Dinners locations across the country.