Influencer Daily

Image commercially licensed from:
Image commercially licensed from:

Sustaining Success: Amy’s Kitchen’s Rise to Popularity and Where the Eco-Conscious Company Is Heading

Image by Freepik

Everybody’s gotta eat. But when you’re in a time crunch, sometimes your options aren’t very appetizing — unless you’ve got some Amy’s Kitchen vegetarian fare in the freezer. The California-based brand has built a loyal fan following for its beloved enchiladas, macaroni and cheese, soups and other offerings. So much so that it churns out a whopping 1 million meals daily inside its kitchens. Read on to learn more about how Amy’s Kitchen came to be and where it’s headed next.

Amy’s Kitchen: From Humble Beginnings to Major Grocery Chains

It’s hard to fathom that Amy’s Kitchen was born in 1987 with one vegetarian potpie in Andy and Rachel Berliner’s home. Now, the brand has expanded exponentially, carried in 11 countries with a menu of more than 124 vegan meals, 140 gluten-free options, 28 light-in-sodium foods, and over 200 kosher-certified products. While the list of its offerings has expanded, Paul Schiefer, the company’s president, says its founding factors remain the same.

“The typical journey of a recipe starts with a meal that we really love,” Schiefer explains. “We believe every meal matters and therefore every sentiment a consumer has about that meal deeply matters.”

When an idea for an Amy’s Kitchen product is formed, the recipe must undergo an extensive round of taste testing before it hits the market shelves. “We have very much a creative-first approach,” Schiefer adds. 

“We’ve always started from the very first day with this premise that every meal we serve should be good enough, taste good enough that we would serve it to our closest friends and family. And the way to do that is by finding the highest quality ingredients, working directly with farmers and growers on varieties and processing techniques so we get the best thing to start with.”

Package Deal: Amy’s Kitchen Aims for Totally Compostable or Recyclable Packaging

Amy’s Kitchen’s packaging is currently 75% either compostable or recyclable, according to Schiefer, and the brand is in trials to get the remaining 25%. “So we can be at a place where not just the food is sustainable, but the packaging itself is a truly closed loop and can be returned either to the soil as compost or to the recycler as fiberboard that can be used for another generation,” Schiefer says.

“We work on water systems. We extend sustainability to more than just the environment.”

Schiefer says the company offers scholarships to its employees’ families, as well as in-house health centers, and additional health and wellness benefits at no cost to employees and their family members. “We also are trying to take care of the people within our business as well as the people that surround our business. So we’ve invested in an incredible health equity strategy, bringing these amazing health care clinics to life.”

The community is another beneficiary of Amy’s benevolence. 

“We’ve given away millions of meals to our local communities, to disaster relief, to groups in need,” Schiefer says. “And so again, we look at it all, both the social environmental impact that we make as a business. We want to create more of a positive social environmental impact into the future.”

Amy’s Kitchen Headquarters Gets a Boost

In the heart of downtown Petaluma, California, Amy’s Kitchen plans to take over a historic space. “We are so excited for this building,” Schiefer shares. “Amy’s is a company that was founded in a barn just right up D Street Extension, which was our first official headquarters. Our corporate offices have been in Petaluma for a good 10-plus years, and so many of our employees live, shop, and enjoy the downtown Petaluma area.”

The Amy’s Kitchen executive adds that the open-floor design will include a tasting kitchen that will be a centerpiece for the enterprise.

“We’re excited about a new home for Amy’s as a company,” Schiefer says. “I think we all recognize that work has changed profoundly through the pandemic. And while a large group of employees at Amy’s have always needed and do come into work every day to make our food, for a lot of our office-based workers, work has become more hybrid in nature where the office is used as a place of collaboration and connection. And so we’re building a new office that really speaks to what we believe is the future of office work, a place that’s really highly designed for collaboration.” 

Schiefer says the tasting kitchen will not only allow more internal team collaboration, but will also open the experience up to the community. 

“In the middle of the building, we’re centering this incredible tasting kitchen where we can really celebrate food, where we can cook together as teams, where we can invite the community in to try our new products, where we can celebrate special anniversaries for people or as a company, and really commit, again, kind of bring us all into that world of being around the kitchen table of Amy’s,” Schiefer explains.

Amy’s Drive Thru

Amy’s Kitchen doesn’t plan on stopping expansion at its headquarters. The company intends to keep thoughtfully expanding its food empire with freestanding Amy’s Drive Thru locations. Amy’s Drive Thrus can be found throughout California in Rohnert Park, San Francisco International Airport, Corte Madera, Roseville and its latest addition in Thousand Oaks.

Amy’s Drive Thru is spinning its take on traditional fast food with veggie burger options, classic and sweet potato french fries, organic mac ’n’ cheese, and a whole menu of organic milkshakes, nondairy shakes, specialty teas, coffees, kombucha, and organic cane sugar sodas. Need gluten-free or vegan fast food? No worries: Amy’s Drive Thru has that covered too.

“We definitely see real opportunity across the country for this concept. It is a regular consumer correspondence we’ve had for years,” Schiefer shares. “We’ve pretty much gotten letters from nearly everywhere in the country asking for a drive-thru at this point. So we certainly see the potential.”


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Influencer Daily.