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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 16, 2009, 12:56 pm

Amy’s Kitchen takes Petaluma space

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    Organic food maker putting administration into a single location.

    SANTA ROSA, PETALUMA – Amy’s Kitchen has signed a lease for a 30,000-square-foot space in Petaluma and will begin moving its 85-member administrative staff from Santa Rosa this week. According to co-founder and President Andy Berliner, the sales, marketing, financial and customer service departments were scattered among four locations near the Santa Rosa processing plant.

    “We needed to consolidate, and after looking in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Petaluma, we found a great deal on a sublease in Petaluma,” he said. The building Amy’s is taking was formerly occupied by a mortgage lender. The move is a homecoming of sorts. Amy’s was founded in Petaluma in 1987, with just five employees.

    Amy’s Kitchen, which has manufacturing operations in Santa Rosa and Medford, Ore., currently employs about 1,700, including 1,000 in Sonoma County.

    The organic food producer has enjoyed 20 percent to 25 percent growth over the last five years, but revenues flattened out during the last fiscal year.

    “During our recent growth period, we built up a lot of overhead. We’re grateful that we’ve stabilized rather than going downhill,” said Mr. Berliner.

    Mr. Berliner said Amy’s plans to reduce its work force by about 2 percent to adjust to the economy.

    Revenues for last fiscal year were $240 million, up 22 percent from the prior year. Projected revenues for the current year are $250 million. Amy’s Kitchen is the largest North American provider of frozen organic food, turning out more than 5 million meals per month.

    Although U.S. retail food markets have traditionally been the main distributors of the Amy’s lines of frozen, canned and shelf-stable products, they’ve recently gained ground in the United Kingdom, where three large British retail chains carry them. Amy’s products are sold in all U.S. military PXs.

    The move to Petaluma will be completed gradually as Amy’s current leases run out. The company is subleasing space from Homecomings GMAC.

    Leasing agents for the transaction were Mike Flitner of Keegan & Coppin representing Amy’s, and Mike Thomason and Vesa Becam of Keegan & Coppin representing GMAC. The address of Amy’s new headquarters is 1650 Corporate Circle.

    “The space needed no improvements. It’s fully furnished and ready to move into,” said Mr. Berliner.

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