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Amy’s Kitchen, the US family-owned food manufacturer, is preparing to set up a new production facility.

The site, located in San Jose in California, will be the company’s fourth and is expected to be up and running by January.

Amy’s Kitchen has three other facilities, with one also in California, in Santa Rosa. The other two are in White City, Oregon, plus Pocatello in Idaho. A fifth factory is planned to be open in Goshen, New York in 2022.

Covid-19 was cited as a factor, with Amy’s Kitchen pointing to “significant increases” in demand in recent months and also the need for space “for safe production and social distancing” in the face of the virus.

The facility will manufacture pizzas, one of a range of products made and marketed by Amy’s Kitchen, which also offers foods including frozen meals and canned soups.

Hiring for the plant starts this month and Amy’s said it plans to hire 180 staff by the end of the first quarter of next year.

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Earlier this year, Amy’s Kitchen announced the promotion of Xavier Unkovic from president to CEO. Unkovic, who joined the business in 2017 from Mars, replaced Andy Berliner, in the CEO role. Berliner, who founded the company with his wife Rachel in 1988, is now executive chairman.