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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, June 20, 2011, 7:27 am

Amy’s Kitchen in early stages of exploring restaurant concept

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    Growing natural foods maker in deal for site of Pasta Bella of Sebastopol

    Pasta Bella is one possible site for Amy’s concept restaurant

    SANTA ROSA – Amy’s Kitchen, producer of packaged all-natural frozen foods, is considering a restaurant concept in the North Bay.

    An offer has been put in on the space where Pasta Bella Saute & Grill in Sebastopol has made its home for the past 15 years.

    “We are looking at a number of different sites in the North Bay,” said Mark Rudolph, chief financial officer of Amy’s Kitchen.

    Details remain to be resolved on the Past Bella deal, which does not include a transfer of the liquor license.

    “We don’t have the proper use for the space yet,” he said. “I can’t even call it an initiative, but it is an idea we are exploring. We want to make sure we have an interesting location and in the meantime we are developing the concept itself.”

    “There are no plans yet,” said Andy Berliner, CEO of the company. “It’s just one of several sites we’re considering.”

    Holli Jordan, owner of Pasta Bella, said she has no plans as of yet to open another restaurant.

    Amy’s Kitchen recently made plans to open a $63 million, 700-employee production plant in Greenville, S.C., in January 2012.

    Earlier this year, the company signed a 10-year lease for a nearly 110,000-square-foot former Ritz Foodservice distribution warehouse at 3000 Dutton Ave. in southwest Santa Rosa and opened a 30-employee plant in the United Kingdom borough of Corby.  Whole Foods and several other large food retail chains in the UK carry Amy’s products.

    The company already has a plant for frozen-food production and one for canning in Medford, Ore.

    Amy’s Kitchen employs about 1,400 in Santa Rosa, Oregon and the United Kingdom.

    Amy’s is the largest food processor in the North Bay with annual revenues estimated at $300 million.

     

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