Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Real Cupcake Wars Of New York City

Before the show "Cupcake Wars", this blog coined the term back in 2005 because of a dispute between two bakeries. Today, it has been reported that Magnolia Bakery is suing a former over the swirled icing technique.

According to the New York Daily News,

The famed Magnolia Bakery slammed a former employee with a federal lawsuit Thursday — demanding he stop selling cupcakes with its signature swirl icing topping. Buba Trawally opened Apple Cafe Bakery last September on W. 8th St., just blocks from Magnolia’s original Bleecker St. shop. “Despite his agreement to preserve all secret and confidential material belonging to Magnolia, Apple ... has baked, marketed and sold cupcakes with a swirled icing topping,” Magnolia’s attorneys claim in the suit filed in Manhattan Federal Court. The suit charges that Trawally is attempting to “capitalize upon Magnolia’s unique and distinctive” cupcakes.
Although Buba signed a confidentially agreement when he worked at  Magnolia Bakery from 2008 to 2011, I wondered if that agreement is enough.  You cannot protect a recipe, but you can trademark logo, design and the swirl.  If Magnolia has trademark protection on their swirl, then the lawsuit may have a strong chance in ending up for the plaintiff.  The bigger question is this: Why do former Magnolia Bakery employees open up competing bakeries?! This is NOT the first time. Billy's Bakery, sugar Sweet sunshine Shop were started by former employees and  Buttercup Bake Shop was started by a former owner.