Amy’s Kitchen dishes up San Jose pizza-making plans

SAN JOSE — Amy’s Kitchen is getting ready to serve up organic foods, including its pizzas, at a new production center near San Jose’s Berryessa BART station.

The maker of frozen organic foods expects to launch food production at the San Jose site by sometime in January, Amy’s Kitchen said.

Amy’s Kitchen began hiring workers in November and expects to employ about 180 people at the site.

“As a family-owned values-driven company, and pioneer of the organic food movement, we are very excited to be expanding our footprint and embarking on our next facility in San Jose,” Amy’s Kitchen said in emailed comments.

Petaluma-based Amy’s Kitchen operates production centers in Santa Rosa; Pocatello, Idaho; and Medford, Ore. In addition to San Jose, Amy’s is also building a production center in Goshen, N.Y.

“As a direct response to the current pandemic, Amy’s is expediting its expansion to San Jose,” the company stated.

Coronavirus-linked preferences for healthy food have created a ready market for the company’s organic foods, according to Amy’s Kitchen.

“Consumers in the pandemic continue to rely on Amy’s to meet their needs for great-tasting, high-quality convenient meals made with organic ingredients,” the company said.

The new facility totals 65,000 square feet, according to the company. Mindful of coronavirus-linked safety protocols, Amy’s picked a site that can provide employees with enough space for safe production, the company said.

Amy’s Kitchen is a family run business that was founded in 1987 in Petaluma by husband-and-wife team Andy Berliner and Rachel Berliner — and became a pioneer in frozen organic foods.

Rachel Berliner was on bed rest — and under doctor’s orders to stay out of the kitchen — just ahead of the birth of their child.

The couple became disenchanted with the lack of quality in the takeout food Andy was bringing home. They decided they could do better by preparing and cooking their own meals.