Thursday, July 29, 2010

Muffin Maven Muzzled

The Washington Post reports that a US Appeals Court has confirmed that "A food-industry executive armed with the secret to the "nooks and crannies" in Thomas' English muffins can't work for a rival amid a trade-secret lawsuit."

Thomas' English Muffins is owned by Bimbo Bakeries. The former Thomas/Bimbo exec wants to work for Hostess in Houston.

As the Third Circuit Court of Appeals noted:
Significantly, as Bimbo repeatedly has noted throughout these proceedings, Botticella was one of only seven people who possessed all of the knowledge necessary to replicate independently Bimbo’s popular line of Thomas’ English Muffins, including the secret behind the muffins’ unique “nooks and crannies” texture. Thomas’ English Muffins is the source of approximately half a billion dollars worth of Bimbo’s annual sales income.
(emphasis added)
I would imagine that the muffin maven is mighty miffed.


PS - it seems that there isn't much that is "English" about Thomas' English Muffins other than that the baker who started making and selling them in New York in 1880 emigrated from England in 1874, according the the New York Times.

Indeed, according to the Boston Globe, "There may not be a single "English Muffin" in all of England".

That being said, I would imagine that "English Muffins" won't be pushed as geographic indication by the EU.

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