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Tuesday Food News Round-up

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 23, 2007 3:24PM


  • From the "things are tough all over" department: As if the folks at Jays didn't have enough to worry about with its recent bankruptcy filing, now two former executives of parent company Ubiquity Brands filed a lawsuit Friday claiming that they were fired in a corporate restructuring "without cause". Former Chief Financial Officer William McManaman and Chief Information Officer Gary Rietz claim their terminations are a violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act and that they are both owed a severance package equal to their respective salaries, the cash equivalent of unused vacation time, health insurance and other benefits. McManaman earned $400,000 a year; Rietz $218,000.

  • From the "quality is on the label" department: A Cook County judge ordered Elgin-based Grater Inc. to pay $2.8 million in damages to a Louisiana company for knowingly selling mislabeled cheese products containing imitation cheese. The penalty is the latest in a litany of complaints against the company, now doing business as Arthur Schulman. The Department of Labor previously ordered Grater to pay 108 employees a combined $180,000 in back wages, claiming the employees often worked 50-70 hours a week with no overtime and that management kept inaccurate timecards, and that Grater knowingly employed undocumented workers.

  • From the "play on civic pride" department: The National Confectioners Association recently released a list of their top ten candy destinations in the country. Chicago placed fifth on the list, with shout-outs to Ethel's Chocolate lounge and eating Cracker Jacks at Wrigley Field.

  • Dennis Ryan, the farm forager and market manager for Green City Market, is leaving to start his own business with former Spiaggia and NoMi chef Megan Munitz. The goal of their Fraîche Kitchen is to bring the fun and excitement of a cooking class to your kitchen, with personalized lessons for individuals and groups and an emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients.