Amy’s Kitchen Brand
Amy’s Kitchen is a family owned and managed company that specializes in making organic foods. They have more than 250 products with most of them being frozen desserts. In addition, the company makes around 130 gluten-free items for customers who are sensitive to the allergen. There are also classic recipes for creating homemade cookies, sauces and dishes, as well as techniques for marketing them to local communities.
Amy’s Kitchen was formed in 1987 by Andy and Rachel Berliner. They named it after their newborn baby, Amy, who was born that same year. The business is setup in such a way that every member of the family participates in the daily activities, contributing to the overall vision that has made it successful so far. Together, they have carefully nurtured the company and paid close attention to every aspect of the business.
Some of the products they have on offer include Vegetable Lasagna, Black Bean Enchiladas, Lentil Soup and Veggie Pot Pie among many others. Since the company is privately held, its annual revenue isn’t publicly listed, though on a CNBC television program called “How I Made My Millions”, they once said that sales exceeded $300 million in 2012.
Reasons Why Amy’s Kitchen Stands Out from the Rest
All products made by the company are available throughout the U.S. and Canada. They are also increasingly being made available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and many other places including Southeast Asia, Latin America and China. These items do not contain any meat, seafood, eggs, peanuts or GMO products. They also lack hydrogenated fats and lipids.
Their Products are Tasty and have a Homemade Feel
Amy’s foods have a sweet natural flavor since they are made from organic ingredients with no preservatives, additives or GMOs. Moreover, their cooking methods closely resemble those used at home or in fine dining restaurants. For instance, pizza crusts are individually shaped by hand, sauces and gravies are made the old fashioned way and potatoes are prepared through mashing and cooking them instead of using dehydrated flakes.
All Ingredients are Natural
The fruits, grains and vegetables used to make Amy’s products are all organic. They are grown the natural way without adding pesticides or any other harmful chemicals. This is advantageous to growers, consumers and the environment at large. Their products are also 100% vegetarian. There’s no meat, poultry, fish or eggs used in making any of them. Furthermore, cheeses are produced using treated rBST-hormone-free milk that does not contain any animal enzymes or rennet.
Amy’s Kitchen has a wide selection of meals to ensure that customers never get bored when dining. There’s something for everyone with products ranging from stuffed sandwiches to pizzas, burritos and veggie burgers.
How Family Members Contribute
As the main co-founders, Rachel and Andy often work together as a team to discuss and address problems that arise on a daily basis. Nevertheless, what they enjoy most as directors is the formation and development of new items, including providing fresh ideas and working hand in hand with company chefs and product developers. Being the company’s official taster, Rachel tries each new product continuously until fully satisfied that the best standards of taste and quality have been met. She has a keen and subtle palate that’s world renowned. Rachel also reads all the letters sent in by customers and gives feedback whenever possible.
Andy provides general leadership for the company while also helping in formulation of marketing and sales strategy. Moreover, oftentimes he visits the kitchen to work with the staff who carefully prepare the food. Both of them also keep in touch with clients’ needs and the company’s more than 1,600 employees.
Their daughter, Amy, is currently pursuing her passion for holistic health care and organic food while also learning from Andy about how to run their family business successfully. She’s particularly interested in championing new sustainability programs for the company.
Furthermore, Andy’s mother Clarice has been instrumental in building Amy’s Kitchen during her lifetime. In her native home town of Chicago, she helped grow the company’s portfolio by approaching retail stores and convincing them to add Amy’s products on their shelves when the company was still just starting out. Moreover, were it not for Clarice’s initial purchase and lease of the company’s first pieces of equipment, the fledgling company would not have been able to meet increasing demand for their products. Even more importantly, having been a skilled cook herself, Clarice instilled a deep appreciation for quality cooking in Andy which has helped motivate his choice of products for Amy’s Kitchen.
Similarly, Rachel’s mom, Eleanor Goodman, has been instrumental in promoting the Amy’s brand, having helped with product development, telemarketing, purchases and even a small run at bookkeeping. Eleanor also aided in buying one of the company’s first packaging machines. Currently, at 80 years of age, Eleanor still tours the world as a true ambassador for Amy’s Kitchen. She’s also the company’s chief copywriter, largely helping with writing stories that go on the company’s packaging and website copy.
Advice for Startups
As a company, Amy’s is also dedicated to strengthening startups and helping them grow from scratch. One of the pieces of advice they give to emerging entrepreneurs is that they should know their local banker since these professionals can help with getting easy financing.
Additionally, Amy’s advises that all investors should investigate the pros and cons of their financing options before making any particular move. Also do proper research by finding out who distributes your type of product, then network by talking to them and looking at their catalogs. It would as well be prudent to attend relevant trade shows and determine what your competition is like. When attending these fairs, always ensure that the product you’re offering is unique.
Amy’s also advises startups to write down their own mission statement, not just for publication but also to instill it in the business’ day-to-day operations. Recently, the first Amy’s Drive Thru eatery was launched in Rohnert Park, California on July 20, 2015. It’s a vegetarian style fast food restaurant that serves organic burgers, French fries, pizzas, shakes and salads, including various gluten-free desserts that are also available. Amy’s is dedicated to maintaining the highest possible standards of food and hospitality. It’s their core mission in business.