Amy’s Kitchen is a family-owned company manufacturing organic and non-GMO convenience and frozen foods. For more than 30 years, Amy’s has produced over 250 vegetarian, gluten free and organic foods found in your local grocery store. In 2015, founders Andy and Rachel Berliner opened their first drive-thru restaurant.
For this project, Amy’s was seeking outside-the-box ideas and an environmentally-friendly design for a first of its kind organic/vegan fast food restaurant. Through past connections, Conseco Group was top of the list to bring on as a construction advisor that could think creatively to make their vision a reality.
We wore many hats on the project – from consulting with site selection, selecting the design and build team, to brainstorming energy efficient and environmentally friendly standards.
Amy’s Drive Thru has been some of our most creative work to date. Setting environmentally friendly standards from the beginning was key for the Berliner family. Features include a living green roof complete with aircraft cables so landscapers can rappel and maintain the roof, a working water tower, solar panels above the drive thru to provide both shade and power, and completely environmentally friendly finishes – non-toxic paints and stains, and recycled cedar plank wood for the ceilings.
Amy’s also needed extra warehouse space to use as a test kitchen. No other fast food restaurants were working with organic friendly foods. So, we needed to think creatively on how to preserve organic foods that could not sit out overnight. We needed to find a soda machine that would prevent organic drink mixes from sitting in the pipes overnight. We also worked to find a special table that was exactly 19 degrees in temperature to ensure the right consistency for hand-dipped non-dairy milkshakes. The milkshakes were a hit from day one!
When the restaurant was finally ready to open, people can from miles around. Within 2 hours of its soft opening, cars were lined up blocks down the road. The restaurant has been a huge success for Amy’s Kitchen.
Conseco Group is currently on the advisory committee for a second Amy’s Drive Thru location.