An Evanston bakery has filed suit against a former chef, claiming the ex-employee stole binders with the only copies of key recipes for some of its signature treats.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Susan Davis Friedman, owner of Fraiche Bakery Cafe, at 815 Noyes St., filed the suit this week, a few days after she discovered the recipe books were missing.

Friedman says the recipes are restaurant property, developed over the three-and-a-half years since the bakery opened.

Original story

Update 3:40 p.m. April 18: The Sun-Times reports the case has been settled and the bakery has its recipes back.

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  1. Stolen Stollen

    An unfortunate circumstance, easily prevented by simply typing the recipes (or scanning the index cards) to a computer and backing up off site.  They would have been in the same pickle had they had a kitchen fire that consumed the company recipes.  A cautionary tale for all small business owners.

  2. Stolen Sweets

    Unless they got the employee on video tape stealing the recipes, this is a case of he said-she said.   In this age of electronic archiving, you would think with all the research and development as well as trial and error exhausted to perfect these "signature" recipes, that someone would have stored a copy somewhere other than a binder.

  3. Opens up lots of issues

    The restaurant is suing the chef for the recipes?  Huh?  .  Recipes are only the property of the owner if its in the contract with the executive chef.   The executive chef brings the recipes and the menus to the restaurant – not the other way around. 

    Is the lawsuit suggesting the bakery owner is the executive chef??????

  4. restaurant property

    If you read the whole story, it would appear that the recipes are the property of the restaurant. Most likely they will get their material back from their ex-employee and the employee will be ordered to not use the recipes at any other location. Additionally, the owners of the restaurant will learn a lesson about protecting their property.

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