Amy’s Kitchen has hired Xavier Unkovic as global president of the family-owned organic food firm located in Petaluma with more than 1,800 employees and, in 2015, approached sales of $450 million.

Unkovic, a former executive at the candy and pet food producer Mars Inc., will report directly to Andy and Rachel Berliner, who founded the firm in 1987 and have overseen a growth curve into a company producing more than 250 varieties of frozen and packaged foods across gluten free, vegan, lactose free, tree nut free, Kosher, and sodium-conscious categories.

“As a company, Amy’s believes in taking the time to do things the right way, and investing in a long-term vision. We put these values in place at the beginning, and I am looking forward to working with Xavier to build upon this foundation for the next generation. His leadership will help drive our innovation and support our customers’ goals to satisfy the growing market for high quality organic food,” Andy Berliner, Amy’s Kitchen Co-founder and CEO, stated in the company’s announcement.

Amy’s also named Justin Neal to lead Amy’s nation-wide sales force as director of domestic sales.

The food manufacturer has manufacturing operations in Santa Rosa, Oregon and Idaho and another 90 workers at its Rohnert Park drive-thru.

According to the announcement, over the next year, the company is focused on bringing the Idaho facility to full capacity. A production plant in Goshen, New York is under development as well.

Locally, the Business Journal reported in July that the firm has plans to follow up that successful drive-thru business in Rohnert Park (the facility includes a “living roof” planted with drought-tolerant and native plants). by opening a second drive-thru in Marin, converting a former Denny’s restaurant.

Amy’s Kitchen ranked fifth among all U.S. makers of frozen food single entrées, with nearly $257 million in sales, according to Chicago-based market research company IRI.

--The Press Democrat contributed to this report.