Cheryl Krueger of Cheryl’s Cookies cut ties with the company soon after she sold it more than 10 years ago but according to recent news, she didn’t cut enough.
Back in 2005, Krueger sold Cheryl’s Cookies to 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. for $40 million and left it four years later to focus on fundraising for the Ohio State University’s Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and other business ventures.
The company was then renamed to Cheryl & Co.
Then, Krueger started CKE and opened a new shop last month called C. Krueger’s Finest Baked Goods at 17 E Brickel St. in the Short North.
That’s where the trouble lies, according to her former company.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
Kruger is being sued for allegedly taking recipes, branding, and executives that belong to Cheryl & Co.
“Defendant Krueger recently formed a competing cookie company, CKE, that sells lookalike cookies using the same secret recipes, branding, and techniques she created and sold, pirated at least four senior executives from Cheryl’s to help her unfairly compete against their former employer, Cheryl’s, in violation of their obligations of non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality, and is now soliciting Cheryl’s business accounts to purchase the exact same products sold by Cheryl’s and is soliciting Cheryl’s vendors to source the exact same ingredients used by Cheryl’s in its recipes,” the company said in the lawsuit, per Columbus Business First.
In an interview with Columbus Business First when she first opened C. Krueger’s, she said her non-compete agreement expired after five years.
However, the lawsuit argues Krueger’s last employment agreement required her to maintain confidential trade secrets “forever.”
The lawsuit also claims Krueger ripped off Cheryl & Co’s “signature swirl” and packaged her new company’s cookies too similarly.