Amy’s Kitchen was created 30 years ago from the belief that great tasting food should be available to all.
It all started when founders Rachel and Andy Berliner were pregnant with their daughter Amy, the namesake of the company. When Rachel was on bed rest during her pregnancy, Andy went looking for ready-made meals at their local natural grocery store. He couldn’t find anything organic and vegetarian that satisfied their taste so they decided to make their own. Turns out they were not the only ones in search of delicious, organic food.
Today, Amy’s takes pride in cooking great tasting, ready-made, organic and vegetarian meals for more than 14 million consumers, serving more than 210 million meals each year. Amy’s Kitchen has remained a family-owned company and our food is made with the same care as the first day we started, just with slightly larger pots and pans.
How did Amy’s choose Medford?
In the early 2000’s, Amy’s was experiencing significant growth – quickly outgrowing our Santa Rosa, California production facility. As we looked at where to open our next kitchen, it was important to keep production close to home, maintaining a strong connection with our culinary and sensory teams in order to ensure we upheld our high quality standards.
With Oregon’s friendly business climate and close proximity to California, Amy’s began exploring potential opportunities in the region. Medford quickly moved to the top of the list with unmatched cost advantages and a workforce that was already skilled in agriculture and food manufacturing, which we knew would help ensure a seamless transition for new employees.
The local Economic Development agency was also an instrumental part of Amy’s adoption into the community, guiding Amy’s through business opportunities and incentives and supporting our arrival in the region.
In 2006, Amy’s was delighted to open our doors in the Medford region, specifically in White City, with a 188,000 square foot facility, making 25 products (all pizza) and employing 250 employees.
How has Amy’s grown in Medford?
Since 2006, Amy’s has grown significantly in Medford, growing our employee base to 980 people and expanding our footprint to 450,000 square feet.
We’ve added two entrées line, a fresh pasta line, a tofu production area, as well as a canning line to make Amy’s soups, chilis and refried beans. In addition, Medford is proudly the sole producers of Amy’s gluten-free burritos. In 2014, we also expanded our storage capabilities to match the growth in production with a 125,000 square dry and frozen food storage warehouse.
We’ve also invested in improving our environmental footprint in Medford – building a waste water treatment facility on site and incorporating cardboard and plastics recycling equipment in the plant.
Today in Medford, Amy’s has six food production lines, making 218 different products each year, including pizzas, soups, chilis, refried beans, entrees, gluten-free burritos and non-dairy frozen desserts.
What is Amy’s doing to support the local area?
One of Amy’s core values is to ‘take care of each other.’ This extends not only to our employees, but also to their families. One of the important ways we do this is by providing comprehensive benefits for our employees and their families. In 2014, we were Southern Oregon Business Journal 24 delighted to open our on-site Amy’s Family Health Center operated by Vera Whole Health next to our Medford Plant. The health center provides Amy’s Kitchen employees and their families free, quality primary care with no-cost medical prescriptions as well as ongoing health coaching. Amy’s Kitchen has been one of few employers nationwide to offer this level of free, convenient, high-quality, ongoing health care on-site.
Beyond our benefits program and onsite-healthcare, Amy’s also offers college scholarships to the children of our employees. Last year, for example, at a community awards ceremony, Amy’s co-founder, Andy Berliner, personally presented the scholarships to 34 students, all children of our White City employees.
In addition, Amy’s is committed to contributing to the broader local community in Medford – supporting the education community in and around Medford by hosting ten local teachers for an externship to learn more about the company and career opportunities that exist for their students, as well as volunteering and donating to Kids Unlimited, the North Medford High School and Jackson Elementary schools.
Finally, as a company whose purpose is to ‘make it easy and enjoyable for everyone to eat well’, Amy’s is passionate about ensuring low-income residents and people with dietary restrictions have access to the food they need. To help support this effort, we work closely with the Oregon Food Bank and ACCESS to locally donate food that goes to those in need.
Over the last 12 years, Amy’s has truly thrived in Medford and we look forward to continuing this journey with our employees, their families and the local community in the area for the long-term.