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Good food requires meticulous attention to detail. Great food is cooked with love and intention. Amy’s Kitchen prepares meals that matter. Paul Schiefer, president of Amy’s Kitchen, says that since Amy’s launched in 1987, it’s always been about serving delicious, quality foods that would be worthy of being shared with one’s dearest friends and family members.
“We use real herbs and spices, we sauté onions, we sauté garlic, we build roux from scratch,” Schiefer explained. “We really make food. And we’ve really shied away from the traditional manufacturing approach, which is often somewhat unrecognizable compared to how you and I, as normal people, think about the food we make.”
That attitude permeates every branch of the Amy’s Kitchen family. Says co-founder Andy Berliner, “We are so very proud of where Amy’s Kitchen is today, and we sincerely thank every employee and every person who eats our food for helping us get here. We also know in some ways the journey has only just begun.”
The brand collaborates with farmers to locate the healthiest ingredients, so there’s nothing artificial about Amy’s Kitchen. From cheese enchiladas made with organic corn and tomatoes to pad thai made with organic rice noodles, vegetables, and tofu, Amy’s Kitchen has plenty of options on its cuisine menu for a variety of appetites.
Andy Berliner says that when he discovered higher childhood cancer rates in farming communities, Amy’s Kitchen began to research the health impacts of pesticides and immediately committed to using organic agriculture before there was a market or standard. While he shares that many questioned what he was doing and anticipated it would raise costs, Berliner says he was ahead of the times with his endeavor.
Amy’s Kitchen also makes sure it keeps up with the latest food trends and demands, especially when it comes to plant-based dining. A survey by Amy’s Kitchen found that 52% of Americans are vegan-curious and despite inflation’s crunch on wallets across the nation, 59% of Americans are willing to drop more money on food if it’s non-GMO. About 44% are willing to spend extra money on food if it tastes like homemade fare, and 33% don’t mind opening their wallets wider if it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.
When Andy Berliner set out on a quest to find nutrient-dense, ready-made meals for his wife Rachel — who was pregnant with their daughter and on bed rest at the time — the couple was disappointed with the lack of tasty options available. They started by making a humble potpie. Today, the brand has expanded to 11 countries and includes a roster of more than 124 vegan meals, 140 gluten-free options, 28 light-in-sodium foods, and over 200 kosher-certified products. With goodness as a guiding light and a mission to keep its farm-grown foods away from harmful pesticides and chemicals, Berliner admits he had no idea how much his initially small business would actually grow over the years.
“Over the past several years in particular, we have been amazed to see a significant increase in demand for our products, have opened [vegetarian fast food restaurants] Amy’s Drive Thru, and have launched countless new products,” Berliner wrote in a letter on the Amy’s Kitchen website. “With this growth comes more responsibility, and we don’t take this lightly.”
The business leader still says he and his team remain “focused on cooking delicious, healthy meals that would bring genuine smiles to people’s faces.”
Grow With the Flow
Schiefer says that although Amy’s Kitchen has grown exponentially over the years and is churning out about a million meals daily, the enterprise is still focused on the same steadfast organic principles and values that laid the foundation for the brand from the beginning. While some companies proliferate so rapidly their core values get lost in the sauce, Schiefer stresses that Amy’s Kitchen is working to give its creations and food production an even more home-cooked vibe by inviting more people to taste and enjoy Amy’s meals.
“The typical journey of a recipe starts with a meal that we really love,” Schiefer explained.
Then Amy’s Kitchen embarks on an involved process to seek out the freshest ingredients, analyze if the meal could be made to scale without losing its small batch integrity, if it’s something that people would truly find delicious — and if this could all be repeated on an ongoing basis.
In keeping with its focus on fueling families with everything that matters, Amy’s Kitchen is also dedicated to building communities.
“We’ve given away millions of meals to our local communities, to disaster relief, to groups in need,” Schiefer stated. “We look at it all, both the social and environmental impact that we make as a business.”
With the goal of creating more of a positive social and environmental impact in the future, Amy’s Kitchen is a family-owned operation with a mission to treat its customers like part of the family.
Amy’s Kitchen Is Simmering With Food From the Heart
“Each meal we make is designed to be enjoyed by a person. And that person’s experience deeply matters to us. It’s not just a transaction, it’s a meal occasion,” Schiefer said. “We believe every meal matters and therefore every sentiment a consumer has about that meal deeply matters .”
Customer feedback is so valued by Amy’s Kitchen that co-founder Rachel Berliner makes a point of reading every letter and email sent to the company.
“She responds to them and she cares about them,” Schiefer shared. “ We use that feedback together to understand scenarios where we need to improve.”
Schiefer adds that as Amy’s Kitchen sorts through customers’ responses, the team uses them to improve the brand and celebrate all the wins. They also use them as a GPS on where the company should be headed next regarding further food development and exploring new ideas and recipes.
“We also learn a lot. We understand what consumers are missing,” Schiefer said. “It helps inform some of the new products that we want to go after. It helps us understand where maybe there are opportunities for Amy’s to grow. So, it’s really a valuable gift, all this consumer feedback, something that we certainly don’t take for granted and really respect and use daily in how we manage and operate this business.”