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Amy's Kitchen appoints new CEO

Amy’s Kitchen announced this week Xavier Unkovic has been named the new chief executive officer of the prepared organic food company.

Headquartered in California, Amy’s Kitchen has a food production facility in White City.

Unkovic was the president of Amy’s Kitchen before stepping into the CEO role. Prior to joining the company, he spent 25 years with Mars Incorporated in various roles, including as global president of Mars Drinks.

Amy’s Kitchen was founded by Andy and Rachel Berliner, who remain involved in the business, along with their daughter Amy and son-in-law. Andy Berliner now serves as executive chairman of the board of directors.

“It is very difficult to grow and professionalize a company without compromising its magic, and yet Xavier has shown that is possible,” Andy Berliner said. “And during the past few months, under the stress of the coronavirus crisis, Xavier has provided exemplary leadership in keeping our employees safe and continuing production for those dependent on our food, leaving us confident that he can help guide the company through challenges that might arise in the future. We have a strong vision for the future of Amy’s and the positive impact we can make through our business, and we’re excited to have Xavier at the helm, turning that vision into reality.”

With demand for frozen convenience foods up during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amy’s Kitchen hired new workers at its White City plant. The company added more safety measures, including face masks, safety glasses, social distancing, protective barriers, temperature checks and increased sanitizing of surfaces.

Still, the company hasn’t been immune to COVID-19 outbreaks, which have struck a variety of food processing facilities around the state.

Jackson County Public Health and Amy’s Kitchen are cooperating on an investigation of a workplace outbreak involving 18 COVID-19 cases. The case count includes everyone linked to the outbreak, which may include workers and their close contacts, county public health officials said.

The investigation, which started July 28, shows most of the spread is happening outside the workplace at social gatherings among co-workers, family and friends, the county said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Unkovic and the rest of the leadership team said they plan to continue the company’s push to make organic food available to more people, support sustainable agriculture, increase energy efficiency during food production and encourage an equitable, inclusive workplace.

“At Amy’s, we know that post-COVID, consumers will look to companies across industries to not only act responsibly but to go far beyond that, making measurable positive impact in our world, whether that’s socially, environmentally or locally,” Unkovic said.

The Berliners started Amy’s Kitchen when their daughter was an infant. Their first product was organic, vegetarian pot pies. The company now sells a broad array of organic, vegetarian food through grocery stores and online sites that range from Vegan Essentials to Food 4 Less, Target and Amazon.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Amy's Kitchen CEO Xavier Unkovic
Amy's Kitchen workers Photo courtesy Amy's Kitchen