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Cookie Kefuffle: Cheryl files counter suit against former company

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.

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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.

C. Krueger’s Buttercream Iced cookies
Cheryl & Co. Buttercream Frosted cookies
Mrs. Fields natural frosted round cookies

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