Linnea Cummings


Job Title & Company: President of Alaska Dinner Factory

Education: Bachelor’s degree in speech communication, Alaska Pacific University

Community work: School Business Partnership with Polaris K-12 School, provide fund-raising opportunities for a dozen-plus organizations, provide gift certificates to three dozen-plus organizations to raise money through auctions or raffles

Family: Husband Rod Cummings, Dog Roman

Hometown: Born in Anchorage, raised and graduated high school in Palmer

What did you want to be when you grew up? HA! An attorney

Best lesson you learned in kindergarten? Sharing and compassion for others

One word to describe yourself: Conservative

One word others use to describe you: Dedicated

Best stress reliever? Sleep

Favorite lunch spot? Anyplace that I’m eating with friends!

What’s your cell phone ringtone? I had to purchase a new cell phone in July after I fell in the ocean. My new cell phone has a plain ringtone, my previous cell phone had...argh, I’m embarrassed to say...“So long and thanks for all the fish.” It’s a corny song from the awful movie “A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

Favorite vacation spot? Why? Prince William Sound. We have a small cabin cruiser that we launch out of Whittier. Our work schedules only allow us to go three or five times a summer, but we cherish the weekends that we can escape. I’m a pretty tightly wound person and I’ve found no relaxation like I do on the boat. When I’m out there I have no choice but to relax: There is no television, no phones, no laundry, no chores, no work, no choice but to unplug.

Famous quote to live by (name source, if known): “Don’t sweat the small stuff” - Karron Weiss (my mom). She would always tell my friend and me that phrase during high school. Through the years my friend and I have told each other that frequently as a reminder.

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? To open other stores in Alaska - in Wasilla and Fairbanks.

I have a friend who had moved away from Alaska about two years ago. One day we were chatting about the list of errands that we both had to get done the following week and she mentioned a meal prep place that she uses in her town. I had never heard of meal prep and asked her to explain what she was talking about. The more she told me, the more jealous I was that we didn’t have anything like that up here. She said she thought one would do very well up here and that I should open one. I thought that idea was crazy! How would I ever be able to pull something like that off? But with her words, the seeds had been planted. I started researching the industry online and discovered how new the concept was and how quickly it was growing. It seemed like a great opportunity. I decided to visit my friend and find out firsthand what these meal prep places were all about. I scheduled for us to attend sessions at four or five different meal prep companies in her state. I was completely hooked!

Once I returned home, I quickly realized that the “desire” was the easy part, and just the beginning. I was scared to death from the moment I started writing my business plan to the moment I opened my doors for business. I am not a risk-taker and couldn’t believe that I was embarking on such an enormous, life-changing task. As I look back, I still can’t believe that I pulled it all together, but I love hearing from my customers, each and every day, about how much we have helped them get dinner back on the table so they can spend more time with their families.

11/03/2007 - 8:00pm