They say HAPPINESS COMES FROM MEANING AND PURPOSE.
We chatted with the team at Amy’s Kitchen to get a better understanding of how their family business runs day to day.
From organic farm to About Life store shelf.
Let’s explore the story of how Amy’s Kitchen lives our organic ethos through our foods…
Amy’s Kitchen started in 1987 in Petaluma, California as a small family business owned by Rachel and Andy Berliner. They produce convenient organic frozen meals and canned beans & soups. What makes Amy’s Kitchen products special and delicious, is that they are made by hand with organic, local produce – just as though they were being cooked fresh for you at home.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of your business; you clearly have stayed true to your organic roots, how have you maintained this over the past 30 years?
Our Promise? We choose what’s best for our customers, our farmers, our employees and our planet. It’s a tall order, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Amy’s Kitchen has pioneered organic foods since the beginning ‐ even before organic was a thing. It is now a world leader in organic home-style convenience foods, such as ready meals, burritos, pasta bowls, refried beans and more.
Now that Amy’s is in Australia, we are able to lower the barrier for people to buy affordable, organic convenient foods (from your local About Life store!)
The organic challenge is how to cost effectively and sustainably produce foods with the best ingredients you can find. We have amazing long‐term relationships with our farmers, and go to extraordinary lengths to retain food integrity and quality without adding nasties. Amy’s food tastes so good because it’s made from real food that people use in their own kitchens–no additives or preservatives, no GMOs.
At Amy’s Kitchen, how do you live your organic ethos through your foods?
We have kept doing what we love for the past 30 years. Our simple recipe is just do what you love. Tastings are right here in this kitchen. It’s still done the same way we’ve always done it.
We believe organic farming is essential for the health of our ecosystems. One important value of organic farming that often gets overlooked is that it protects farm workers from unnecessary exposure to pesticides. People are really important to us at Amy’s – the people who farm our ingredients, the people who make Amy’s food, and the people we cook for.
How have your relationships with your farmers grown as you have?
We consider farmers a major partner. When we began the company, there was no national certification for organic farming, and as as privately owned company, we made the choice to do things the right way, not based on what regulations mandated. Lots of our farmers have been with us for more than 20 years.
What makes your products different from other ready-to-eat foods?
The main differences are our dedication to organic and non-GMO foods, and our hand-made cooking methods.
It’s unusual for a food company our size to make food the way we do. At Amy’s Kitchen, soups are stirred in pots just like you have in your home (only much bigger), burritos and hand-rolled, and pizza crusts are hand-stretched. We don’t do things the fastest or most profitable way, we do them the most thoughtful and best-tasting way.
Can you tell us about farming and cooking practices that retain freshness?
A great example of this is our tomato harvest. Every autumn, we visit our farmers in central California to harvest all of the organic tomatoes we will use for the coming months. Time from vine to can is under four hours, and we all taste the product ourselves and work with the farmers in the months leading up to harvest to ensure top quality.
What is the best thing about being part of Amy’s Kitchen?
We get to work from our hearts and do what we know is right. We’re extremely supportive and treat our employees like family, and we make decisions for our employees with that in mind.
We have remained a private, founder-driven business after 30 years. This means we have the freedom to make decisions that might not be traditional business sense, but that we know are right. That’s a real pleasure.
What makes Australia such a great country for Amy’s?
Amy’s believes in good food. We care for our environment, our people, and the people we cook for. We feel at home in Australia because our values resonate here. We are seeing a rising demand for vegetarian and vegan foods in Australia. Australia is the fourth largest vegan market in the world. Currently the biggest vegan food market is the US, followed by Germany, Britain and Australia. We are also seeing increasing demand in Australia for organic foods, with a 15% increase in people buying organic when they can. We are proud to be in Australia and helping to make affordable, organic convenient foods more available.
 Euromonitor International
 Nielsen CMV, April 2017