This week, vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli announced on social media that she has prevailed in a four-year-long legal battle over fast-casual vegan chain by CHLOE, which she co-founded in 2015. Shortly after opening the first location in New York City, Coscarelli’s business partner, ESquared, terminated Coscarelli from the by CHLOE brand that bears her name. Ever since, she has been fighting for her rights to the company in lawsuits that included trademark infringement, violation of her right to publicity, and copyright infringement. 

“Five years ago, we opened the doors to the very first by CHLOE on Bleecker Street. It was more than a restaurant to me; it was a dream—one I poured my entire heart and soul into pursuing,” Coscarelli said on Instagram. “⁣Little did I know that dream would soon become a nightmare. ⁣Less than a year after we opened, I was viciously pushed out of the company I founded by my business partner and have been involved in a brutal legal battle ever since.⁣”

The by CHLOE ruling
Coscarelli said that earlier this month, the judge issued an 87-page ruling in her favor—granting her 50-percent ownership in the company. However, she recently learned that by CHLOE and its related entities have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. The chain currently operates 14 locations in NYC, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, and Boston, as well as locations in the United Kingdom and Canada. After opening its first international location in London last year, by CHLOE secured a $31 million investment to fund the global expansion of the vegan chain with the aim of opening 20 additional locations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

The by CHLOE bankruptcy
With the bankruptcy filing, the company has arranged “Debtor in Possession” financing, which allows for the continued operation of its restaurants until the company is sold. As part of the process, the bankruptcy court needs to approve any sale of the company. Coscarelli said she is on the lookout for new partners. “I am exploring options with others to make a bid for the company in the bankruptcy proceedings,” Coscarelli told VegNews. “I am thankful for the win in arbitration, and my lawyers have filed motions with the Federal Court in New York to confirm the arbitrator’s ruling.”

Photo courtesy of Foursquare

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