Cheryl Krueger of C. Krueger’s cookies in the Short North is fighting fire with fire by filing a counter lawsuit against her former company Cheryl’s Cookies.
A few weeks ago, Cheryl’s Cookies, which now goes by Cheryl & Co. now, filed a lawsuit against Krueger for allegedly ripping recipes, branding, executives, and more.
Krueger denies the products’ likeness and even filed a counter claim that Cheryl & Co. is unfairly trying to eliminate competition, reports This Week News.
(Note: “CKE” is an abbreviation for C. Krueger’s)
“Cheryl’s filed this groundless lawsuit for one reason and one reason only: to drive CKE, a small startup company, out of business,” said Krueger in the lawsuit. “The simple fact of the matter is Cheryl’s does not want to compete with a new business that sells superior products so it has filed a meritless lawsuit to disrupt defendants’ business during the peak holiday season.”
Back in 2005, Krueger sold Cheryl’s Cookies to 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. for $40 million and opened a new shop recently called C. Krueger’s Finest Baked Goods at 17 E Brickel St.
In an interview with Columbus Business First when she first opened C. Krueger’s, she said her non-compete agreement expired in 2014.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
However, the Cheryl & Co lawsuit argues Krueger’s last employment agreement required her to maintain trade secrets “forever.”
The lawsuit also claims Krueger ripped off Cheryl & Co’s “signature swirl” and packaged her new company’s cookies too similarly.
“CKE is not a ‘copycat’ business as Cheryl’s alleges,” wrote Kruger in the lawsuit. “CKE uses new recipes with different ingredients, is working with different vendors and suppliers and is building a new customer base,” Krueger’s answer reads. “CKE and Cheryl’s sell fundamentally different products. CKE’s are substantially larger in both size and weight than Cheryl’s cookies (weighing approximately 20-66% more than Cheryl’s cookies), the majority of them are not frosted.”
According to This Week News, Krueger also points out that a few other companies, including Mrs. Fields, use an almost identical swirl of buttercream frosting.
In her counter claim, Krueger is seeking damages, legal fees and other compensation.