Save a vegan small business, "Bearilicious" & stop Lotus Bakeries from ruining it

Save a vegan small business, "Bearilicious" & stop Lotus Bakeries from ruining it

16 July 2022
Signatures: 334Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Judy P

Hi All,

My name is Judith, almost a year ago, shortly after I lost my job, I created a small business. I make vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free snacks, cereals, granola, chocolates, biscuits. I offer personalised flavours and ingredients, to cater to people with dietary restrictions. Anyone can enjoy these snacks though, but having several food allergies and intolerances, I know how hard it is to find a safe product for people with allergies. Since I was unable to find any breakfast cereal/granola or pre packed snacks myself, that I could safely consume, without risking having a serious allergic reaction, I started making my own. After posting about them, the feedback was very positive, and people kept asking where could they buy them. This is how Bearilicious Snacks was born. This is a one woman show, I do the designs, the baking and recipe developing, the PR, the marketing, the socials, the videos, the pics, everything. Seeing people enjoying my products and sharing them on socials, brings me great joy.

I named the cereals and the granola "Bearilicious cereals" and TM-ed the name "Bearilicious". However, shortly after my TM application, Lotus Bakeries, a 4+ billion € company, who owns Biscoff, Trek bars, the Nakd bars and Yoyo Bear, etc, took offence in my application and their lawyers started to threaten me with legal fees and bullied and harassed me emails after emails. They never tried to have a civilised conversation. In fact, in their very first email I saw about this, they threatened me with legal fees, if I don't recall my TM application. It was very stressful, given my situation, especially that I lost my day job shortly before this case started, after I was bullied and harassed by my direct managers for 2 years. I found myself in a similar situation, but this time around it was me against a 4+ billion € company. After doing some research, I realised that they were just using scare tactics, and it's a whole process (a very long one, too) before they can even take me to court and then make me pay their legal fees. IF, at all, it would come there.

I emailed the company's owner and CEO and their board members, and respectfully asked them to reconsider this absolutely ridiculous claim and case. But instead of an answer from him or from any of the board members, I received an email from their lawyers, and I was told that I must not contact the CEO ever again. And that I must communicate with their team of lawyers. "For future reference, please address all your correspondence to us and stop contacting our client directly." This company has an army of lawyers. And on the other side, it's me, myself only. With no legal help or any help.

I initially refused to reply to their emails and their calls, but they kept emailing me and it put a lot of stress on me, so I agreed to have a call, hoping they'd be open to some kind of discussion. I offered them to buy the name from me. I didn't ask much, just to pay for the TM application and to cover the money I spent on the packaging. As the TM application cost a lot, plus the packaging, and all the time and effort I put into making the products and building my brand, and creating my small business. But they didn't agree to that. I started to share the details of this case online, but to that they told me and I quote, "I'm smarter than this and I should know better, not to share this case with the greater public."

What they're saying is "Bearilicious" sounds just like "Yoyo Bear" one of their products, and that their customers would get confused if they saw the two products next to each other on the shelves of the supermarkets. 

There are more issues with this. I'm not available in supermarkets, plus, Yoyo Bear is a fruit roll for children, and my cereal was a free from product for everyone. These are two completely different products. The branding and the design looked nothing like theirs. They also cited similarities with their product name, "Kiddylicious", though their opposition didn't mention anything about this initially.

This case has been going on since November, 2021. I've rebranded and renamed my product, and named it after my mini dachshund, and named it Tulilly's. But my Instagram page still runs under @bearilicious.snacks. As I'm trying to hold on to this as long as I can and show them that I don't give up and I don't let them scare me. I have been focusing more on making chocolates and bonbons, but of course all my products are still vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. However, I've put so much work and effort and even money to bearilicous, that I don't want to give up. If I withdrew my application now, all the money, effort and work I put into it would go to waste. It's very sad.

I don't want to let a billion  € company to ruin a small business, I don't want them to think they can bully and harass a small business, especially with such a ridiculous claim. I've been unemployed for a year now, so I don't have the resources to have a lawyer and to pay for someone to defend my case. I have to do it for myself. 

I'm starting this petition and hoping I can gather enough signatures, to make this case public, and to save my small business. And to make them change their mind about this. If I lost the TM case, it would have further financial implications, which I can't afford, sadly. So I'm trying everything to save this name and to continue with my small business.

They're saying that Lotus Bakeries merely wishes to preserve and protect the huge investment they made in the reputation, quality and marketing of their products and trademarks. I'm asking, how am I ruining this for them, as a small business? They're saying they don't mean to ruin my small business but in the end of the day this is exactly what is happening.

As the CEO says on their website, “Reputation takes years to build, but only a second to lose. Trust in our company makes consumers want to buy our products, ... We expect you all to do the right thing. ... Lotus Bakeries is committed to act with integrity, honesty, fairness ..."

These are just empty words. I see no fairness, honestly nor integrity in trying to ruin my small business with a case with no actual basis. And how is this behaviour the right thing to do?

I'm asking all of you to please sign this petition, share it and help me save my small business.

Thank you All!




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Signatures: 334Next Goal: 500
Support now