Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's In A Name

Liz Weinclaw and Caitlin Shea, founders of Meringue Bake Shop, have a problem. And you might be able to help. I wrote about the pair last February. Business has been good since then, with orders rolling in for exquisite celebratory cakes — wedding, birthday, graduation, anniversary — and lines form for their brightly colored macarons and pretty petit fours whenever they show up at farmers markets and the Cleveland Flea. (Attend the next Flea July 12.) Personally, I have a serious weakness for the ladies' Earl Grey shortbreads. And I'm desperate to try the new tasso ham and thyme scones, prepped with local pork from Saucisson. But back to the problem.

A woman in California trademarked the same name for her business. She found out about this local venture and had a lawyer send a letter informing the Clevelanders that they have to come up with a new name, and fast. The partners, unable to think creatively under pressure, have been unsuccessful — so they're reaching out to their fans, friends and anyone else willing to offer suggestions.
"This hard for us," Liz says. "Caitlin and I are attached to Meringue Bake Shop, and people are starting to recognize it. But we don't have a choice. So we decided to get the public involved."
They'll be at the Gordon Square Farmers Market tonight. You can drop your handwritten entry into an idea jar on their table. If you submit the winning concept, there's a dessert surprise in your future, so be sure to include your name and some contact info. Or post your submission on their Facebook page.
"We're trying to stay positive," Liz says. "At least it didn't happen after we got a storefront and put up a big sign. And maybe our new name will be even better."


michael feigenbaum said...

add an s to the meringue then it is meringues problem solved

Anonymous said...

That doesn't solve the problem. Similar names in similar businesses may not share names that could reasonably cause customers to confuse one with the other.

Anonymous said...

That does not solve the problem. Two similar businesses may not share similar names if customers could reasonably confuse one with the other. The other business followed all legal and correct procedures to protect her name, and unfortunately she got there first.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How about Marvelous Meringue Bake Shoppe. Many businesses with longer names end up being shortened by consumers. This way they keep the identity they have come to love and avoid the legal issue.

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