SAN JOSE — Amy’s Kitchen is getting ready to serve up organic foods, including its pizzas, at a new production center near San Jose’s Berryessa BART station.
The maker of frozen organic foods expects to launch food production at the San Jose site by sometime in January, Amy’s Kitchen said.
The new production facility is expected to provide a significant employment boom for San Jose.
Amy’s Kitchen began hiring workers in November and expects to employ about 180 people at the site.
“As a family-owned values-driven company, and pioneer of the organic food movement, we are very excited to be expanding our footprint and embarking on our next facility in San Jose,” Amy’s Kitchen said in comments emailed to this news organization.
Petaluma-based Amy’s Kitchen operates production centers in Santa Rosa; Pocatello, Idaho; and Medford, Ore. Amy’s is building production centers in San Jose and Goshen, N.Y.
“As a direct response to the current pandemic, Amy’s is expediting its expansion to San Jose,” the company stated.
Coronavirus-linked preferences for healthy food have created a ready market for the company’s organic foods, according to Amy’s Kitchen.
“Consumers in the pandemic continue to rely on Amy’s to meet their needs for great-tasting, high-quality convenient meals made with organic ingredients,” Amy’s Kitchen said.
The new facility totals 65,000 square feet, according to the company. Work is underway to prepare the site for Amy’s food production.
Mindful of coronavirus-linked safety protocols, Amy’s picked a site that can provide employees with enough space for safe production, the company said.
Amy’s Kitchen is a family run business that was founded in 1987 in Petaluma by husband-and-wife team Andy Berliner and Rachel Berliner — and became a pioneer in frozen organic foods.
Rachel Berliner was on bed rest — and under doctor’s orders to stay out of the kitchen — just ahead of the birth of their child.
The couple became disenchanted with the lack of quality in the takeout food Andy was bringing home. They decided they could do better by preparing and cooking their own meals.
The first dish: a pot pie based on a recipe created by Eleanor Goodman, Rachel’s mom — and grandmother of the newest addition to the family, Amy Berliner. The family business was quickly named after baby Amy.
Over the decades since then, Amy’s kitchen has responded to shifting consumer needs and requests. Gluten-free and dairy-free foods were added to the product line.
Now, Amy’s Kitchen sites cook 1 million meals every day. The company produces more than 230 million meals a year that are served to more than 14 million consumers.
“Amy’s expansion to San Jose follows significant increases in demand for its products over the last several months,” the company stated.