Ousted By Chloe founding chef Chloe Coscarelli is suing the fast-casual vegan restaurant’s parent company yet again — this time additionally hoping to stop the company’s effort to sell vegan goodies in Whole Foods with her name.
This latest suit, filed in New York, is filled with many of the same claims Coscarelli made in an April lawsuit from California, including a whole slew of infractions that run from breaches of contract to copyright and trademark infringement. (That suit has been dismissed to file in New York.) It’s Coscarelli’s latest effort to reclaim rights to her name now that the vegan celebrity chef is no longer affiliated with the trendy, hit restaurant.
The new, 93-page suit again alleges that parent company ESquared Hospitality ousted her last year, but kept using her name for expansions and new products. She also claimed that ESquared’s CEO Jimmy Haber pushed her out after she rejected his “advances.” “Spurned again, and reeling from rejection, Haber used ESquared to seize control of [By Chloe Hospitality Group],” the complaint says.
It also adds two new demands: an injunction prohibiting By Chloe from going into packaged retail products and a declaration that affirms that Coscarelli still owns half of the restaurant group. This comes after By Chloe announced it would start selling brownies, cookies, lemon bars, and other packaged sweets in two Whole Foods stores in NYC. The full complaint is below.
In a statement to Eater, Haber maintains that the claims are “false,” though he does not specifically address the claims of his alleged “advances.”
It’s been a long battle between Coscarelli and ESquared. She first sued the company in 2015, alleging that Haber wanted her restaurants to serve meat. By March 2017, an arbitrator determined that she was “grossly negligent” of the restaurant, allowing ESquared to push her out of her 50 percent share without any payment, she alleges in this suit. Coscarelli also alleged that Haber “became furious” after she rejected his “advances” and his requests to license her name for mass produced food, the suit says.
By Chloe now has 10 locations around the U.S., plus two in London, as well as a recent $31 million investment for another 20 outposts globally.
Update: July 2, 2018, 4:35 p.m.
This article was updated to include comments from Jimmy Haber.