Less than a week after vegan fast-casual chain By Chloe secured a $31 million investment, the concept’s estranged co-founder has filed suit against its current owners for trademark infringement, among other complaints.
“Chloe Coscarelli is universally and widely known as Chloe,” reads the first line of the 129-page, 14-count complaint against BC Hospitality and ESquared Hospitality filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Coscarelli, a former Food Network cupcake competition winner, was ousted from By Chloe last year after an arbitrator declared the TV chef had been “grossly negligent” in handling the brand’s business dealings.
By Chloe co-founder, Samantha Wasser, is the daughter of ESquared Hospitality CEO Jimmy Haber, also an investor in the concept. In the complaint, Coscarelli claims Haber retaliated against her after she rejected his “advances.”
By Chloe representatives have not responded to a request for a comment on the lawsuit.
Coscarelli also alleges in the suit that By Chloe’s quality has declined since her forced removal, harming her reputation since her name remains on the concept.
Coscarelli is seeking a jury trial in the case.