Photo: sunshinecity, Flickr
Carrie Bradshaw's favorite bakery has found itself in the middle of its own melodrama. The owners of Magnolia Bakery, the Manhattan cupcake shop made famous by Sex & the City, are suing one of its founders, Jennifer Appel, for opening an illegal branch in Athens, Greece, reports Daily Mail UK.
The charges in the suit are a little bit hazy, but first, some history: Magnolia first opened its now-iconic doors in Manhattan in 1996 with Appel and Allysa Torey as co-owners, but Appel sold her share in 1999 and set up a competing shop: the Buttercup Bake Shop. In 2007, Steve and Tyra Abrams bought the rights to Magnolia and expanded its locations (you can now find Magnolia outposts in L.A. and Dubai -- yes, Dubai).
The lawsuit comes courtesy of the Abrams' -- they claim Appel allegedly shared business secrets and recipes with Greek socialite Nicole Kotovos in order to open their own branch in Greece last year. But Appel denies the charges. In fact, she's counter-suing.
Appel claims Kotovos tricked her into handing over the Magnolia concept. (See, we told you the lawsuits don't make total sense.)
What does Kotovos say about all this? "My store in Athens is called Hamptons Cupcakes [...] I hired Jennifer as a consultant to open the store. I have no comment other than that I am not liable to anyone," reports Daily Mail UK. Maybe, but the Abrams' are also suing over Kotovos' registration of the domain magnoliacupcakes.gr. Suspicious, yes?
That URL now turns up as "page not found," but the site for Hamptons Cupcakes works just fine -- and the cupcakes shown do look a lot like Magnolia's, with piles of pale pastel buttercream. But can you prove cupcake copycatting?
Hm, how would Carrie say this in Greek? "I couldn't help but wonder... was it a sincere form of flattery, or are we all a little guilty of interfering in a contract, unfair competition and alleged trademark infringement."