|Miyoko's Creamery, Miyoko Schinner, Lisa Bloom, lawsuit, complaint, mary cummins, investigative reporter, trade secrets, vegan, cheese, vegan cheese, woman, board|
UPDATE: March 1, 2023 Miyoko Schinner hired Lisa Bloom to represent her in the lawsuit.
Here is the complaint against Miyoko Schinner. It's a public document.
Summary of lawsuit: Miyoko Schinner started Miyoko's, Miyoko's Kitchen, Miyoko's Creamery in 2013. It was incorporated in California and merged into a new Delaware corporation in 2019 as Miyoko's Kitchen Inc and Miyoko's PBC. Miyoko Schinner is an award-winning Vegan celebrity chef who developed the best vegan butter and cheeses while writing vegan cheese cookbooks. Through her many years of very hard work she made her company into a $250,000,000 company getting her product in all the major grocery stores and markets. She is a well respected business woman in her field. She also runs Rancho Compasion.
Miyoko's sought out venture capital starting in 2016 in order to expand production due to high demand. When you accept venture capital they expect a few seats on the board of directors. Miyoko's Creamery is a B Corporation and a Public Benefit PBC corporation. June 2022 the board voted to fire Miyoko Schinner as the CEO of Miyoko's. She was demoted to another position and stayed with the company and on the board as Chairman of the Board. There was expected to be negotiations on a separation, rearrangement with the company. That didn't happen and then the company fired Miyoko outright.
February 2023 the company sued Miyoko for allegedly taking trade secrets and records. Later that month Miyoko hired Lisa Bloom to represent her. There will most likely be a counter suit.
My personal opinion is that the finance guys on the board just wanted to make more profits. I think this had to do with Miyoko discontinuing the shreds and slices March 2022. "She would never approve an oil and starch product with no nutritional value. She admitted that the corporation had done so in order to “play the game.” She described the items as “compromises to the brand’s values and product guardrails.” " "In deciding to pull the product off the marketplace, we had to make the decision to take a hit to our revenues in order to re-establish our brand values.” I don't know anyone on the inside so this is just my speculation based on timing. She was fired, demoted three months later at the next board meeting.
Whatever the case the company should not have sued Miyoko. At the very minimum they should not have put everything they did in writing in the public lawsuit including her working agreement. They should have filed a vague suit then both parties could have agreed to keep all discovery, exhibits under seal. Sounds like some young finance guys thinking they're the Wolves of Wall Street making big mistakes. They are harming profits more than eliminating shreds and slices.
Company press release February 16,2023 about the lawsuit.
This list may not be up to date. I'm trying to verify.
Louis Kanganis is the company President.
Jon Blair CFO and acting CEO
Deborah Foster Co-Chief Executive Officer
Emad Halaka Co-Chief Executive Officer
May Ethan President
Pete Cohen President
René Weber Chief Operating Officer
Board of Directors
Christopher Kerr Unovis Asset Management Board Observer
Chuck Muth Self Board Member
Daniel Gluck PowerPlant Partners Board Member
James Joaquin Obvious Ventures Board Member
John Kenney Cult Capital Board Member
Bruce Friedrich Angel (individual) Minority
CPT Capital Venture Capital Minority
Ellen DeGeneres Angel (individual) Minority
Portia de Rossi Angel (individual) Minority
PowerPlant Partners Venture Capital Minority
ORIGINAL: U.S. District Court California Northern District (Oakland) CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:23-cv-00711-DMR
Miyoko's, PBC v. Schinner
Assigned to: Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu
Cause: 18:1836(a) - Injunction against Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
Date Filed: 02/16/2023
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 880 Defend Trade Secrets Act (of 2016)
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Miyoko's, PBC, a Delaware Corporation represented by Mike Costes Flesuras Mintz
3580 Carmel Mountain Rd Ste 300
San Diego, CA 92130
Nicole M Rivers 858-314-1897 Email: NMRivers@mintz.com
Micha Danzig Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC 858-314-1500 Fax: 858-314-1500 Email: email@example.com
Miyoko Schinner represented by Alan Goldstein The Bloom Firm 26565 Agoura Road Suite 200 Calabasas, CA 91302 818-914-7319 Email: Avi@thebloomfirm.com
Lisa Bloom The Bloom Firm
|Miyoko's Creamery, Miyoko Schinner, Lisa Bloom, lawsuit, complaint, mary cummins, investigative reporter, trade secrets, vegan, cheese, vegan cheese, woman, board, Louis Kanganis|
Date Filed # Docket Text
02/16/2023 1 COMPLAINT (with jury demand) against Miyoko Schinner (Filing fee $ 402, receipt number ACANDC-17999346). Filed by Miyoko's, PBC. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Danzig, Micha) (Filed on 2/16/2023) Modified on 2/17/2023 (cjl, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 02/16/2023)
02/16/2023 2 Proposed Summons. (Danzig, Micha) (Filed on 2/16/2023) (Entered: 02/16/2023)
02/16/2023 3 Rule 7.1 Disclosures by Miyoko's, PBC (Danzig, Micha) (Filed on 2/16/2023) (Entered: 02/16/2023)
02/16/2023 4 Certificate of Interested Entities by Miyoko's, PBC (Danzig, Micha) (Filed on 2/16/2023) (Entered: 02/17/2023)
02/17/2023 5 Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu.
Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.
Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 3/3/2023. (jrs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/17/2023) (Entered: 02/17/2023)
02/17/2023 6 Summons Issued as to Miyoko Schinner. (cjl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/17/2023) (Entered: 02/17/2023)
02/17/2023 7 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 5/10/2023. Initial Case Management Conference set for 5/17/2023 01:30 PM in Oakland, Courtroom 4, 3rd Floor. (cjl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/17/2023) (Entered: 02/17/2023)
02/27/2023 8 NOTICE of Appearance by Alan Goldstein for Defendant Miyoko Schinner (Goldstein, Alan) (Filed on 2/27/2023) (Entered: 02/27/2023)
02/27/2023 9 NOTICE of Appearance by Alan Goldstein for Lisa Bloom for Defendant Miyoko Schinner (Goldstein, Alan) (Filed on 2/27/2023) (Entered: 02/27/2023)
02/28/2023 Electronic filing error. Attorney Alan Goldstein Must Update ECF Profile with Current Contact Information. [err102] Re: 8 Notice of Appearance filed by Miyoko Schinner. (cjl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/28/2023) (Entered: 02/28/2023)
02/28/2023 Electronic filing error. Each attorney of Record Must file Their Own Notice of Appearance Using Their Own ECF Sign on. Additionally, the Document Should Reflect the Correct Jurisdiction. [err102] This filing will not be processed by the clerks office. Please re-file in its entirety Re: 9 Notice of Appearance filed by Miyoko Schinner. (cjl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/28/2023) (Entered: 02/28/2023)
03/01/2023 10 NOTICE of Appearance by Lisa Bloom for Defendant Miyoko Schinner (Bloom, Lisa) (Filed on 3/1/2023) (Entered: 03/01/2023)