Future uncertain for Lexington Dream Dinners

The future of Lexington's Dream Dinners franchise is up in the air.

The owner announced last week she planned to close it later this month but has since met with a potential new investor.

Stephanie Bryan e-mailed customers Friday, saying the economy has taken a major toll on the business, in which customers prepare dinners to take home and freeze until it's time to serve them. The last day of operation, she wrote, would be Nov. 30, giving customers enough time to order and pick up Thanksgiving packages.

But a day after sending the e-mail, a customer called Bryan to express interest in investing to keep the franchise open.

Bryan said talks are continuing with the person, whom she declined to identify.

The business, at Codell Drive and Todds Road near Lowe's, opened in May 2006. She bought it a little more than a year ago but said it has struggled.

She said it's probably because customers can pay about $150 a session, although that provides food for numerous meals.

"If you break it down per serving and compare it to buying the ingredients yourself or eating out, it is way cheaper ...," she said. "I think a lot of people are having a hard time coming up with that amount of money at one time, even though in the long term it saves them money."

Dream Dinners, based in Snohomish, Wash., has franchises in more than 30 states.