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The ‘Amy’s Kitchen’ Kid Tells All
'When i was little, I used to sneak over to my friends house to eat Jif peanut.'
Amy Berliner, the kid made famous by Amy's Kitchen, has just turned 21 and is about to start her junior year at Stanford. We figured it was time to catch up with her and see what frozen food celebrity is like, and whether she secretly craves Twinkies.
What's it been like having a frozen food line named after you for your whole life?
Actually, I don't know what life is like without having a product named after you. When I was little, it was really cool having my name on the box, and as I got older and realized it was good for people, and that made me happy. Certainly thankful that my name wasn't on an oil company or something. When I was like three or four, my best friend told me that the only way they could legally call it 'Amy's' on the package was to have a little piece of me inside every box, and that people secretly cut off little pieces of my hair at night when I was sleeping and put it in the food. And I thought, 'Oh, no!' l believed him. You don't have to print that.
Aw, I really want to. Any other early memories?
I remember being in the factory. Sometimes I'd get up really early with my dad, and I remember mixing the sauce with him. All I ever ate was the vegetable pot pie, because it was the only thing around. It was our first product. I actually had it this morning for breakfast. I eat real food for breakfast, otherwise I'm starving later.
Did kids tease you at all?
No, kids never teased me at all about Amy's. They thought it was cool. But they did tease me about being vegetarian. They tried to sneak meat into my food.
Have you been involved in developing new products?
I've done that my whole life. When I was little, my parents would say, 'Amy, invite your friends over for a taste test.' And the kids would say 'More salt,' or 'More cheese'. I interned at Amy's and helped develop Nacho Snacks, and suggested a new vegan product that's about to come out. I've helped my mom out with most photo shoots for new packaging, in San Francisco. I'd help with the design and go shopping with her for props.
What were the most unusual props you ever bought?
Nothing unusual, really. For the kids' meals, we just went into the attic and got out my old toy boxes. So if you look at the packages of kids' meals, those are all my old toys. I can tell you stories about all of them. Like one of the packages has a bobbing-head turtle. I have a whole collection of them; I used to go to Mexico every year and would buy them down there.
Are you a closet junk food junkie? Do you scarf down Twinkies?
When I was little, I used to sneak over to my friend's house to eat Jif peanut butter. My mom made me eat organic peanut butter, which never tastes the same. I loved it on Wonder Bread, not the organic sprout bread we had at home. Now it (Jif and Wonder Bread) grosses me out but I loved it then.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
No. Good thing, huh? Otherwise, they'd have had to call it "Amy's and Fred's" or something.