Family's First In Amy's Kitchen

by Rona Berg

When Rachel Berliner founded Amy’s Kitchen 27 years ago, she named it after her daughter, Amy
Everyone loves Amy’s Kitchen. By now, an entire generation of working moms has raised its kids on Amy’s delicious frozen organic entrees and totally addictive organic pizza.
When Rachel Berliner and her husband, Andy, started Amy’s Kitchen 27 years ago, she was looking for a solution, too. But she couldn’t find one. So she decided to create her own, and name it after her daughter, Amy. “We started to make food for vegetarians,” Berliner says. “But we didn’t label it that way. We just wanted people to eat good food.” Always ahead of the curve, she was also the first to market with a full line of gluten-free organic foods.
Berliner and her husband travel the globe, and their travels inspired the creation of delicious international dishes like Pad Thai, Vegetable Korma, Quinoa with Black Beans, influenced by the cuisines of India, Mexico, Thailand and more. She finds inspiration from top chefs and foodie friends all over the world. Amy’s tamale sauce was a collaboration with a friend who owns a restaurant in Mexico. “I work with chefs,” says Berliner. “I come to them with ideas, and we develop them together. I’m not the chef, I design the food.”
Raised on organic food by parents who grew pesticide-free vegetables in their suburban backyard, Berliner comes by her passion naturally. When she is not tending to Amy’s, she is growing organic vegetables and flowers in her gardens. “People disconnect from where their food comes from,” Berliner says. “I want them to connect.”
This spring, the company is launching another first: Amy’s Drive-Thru in Rohnert Park, CA, the first fast-food drive-in to feature exclusively non-GMO, organic veggie burgers, pizza, salads, burgers and fries, and more of the delicious healthy food that Amy’s is famous for.
In spite of their success, Berliner is determined to hold on to the hands-on, homey touch that is ingrained in the DNA of the brand. “I love to feed people,” says Berliner. “I’m a Jewish mother. Every single person we feed is important to us.”
“We thought we’d be a little business,” she says. “We had no idea! Every day we get requests from big companies who want to buy us,” she continues. “But we’re a family business. And we want to stay that way.” amys.com
 

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