This recipe is a big dill.
A Boston-based pickle company is suing a rival in New Jersey, claiming it stole a 100-year-old recipe to make products sold at Whole Foods.
Grillo’s Pickles has filed its second lawsuit against Patriot Pickle products sold under the Whole Foods 365 label. The two were partners between 2012 and 2021 until they had a falling out, WCVB reported.
The company accused Patriot Pickle of using its proprietary recipe in its products sold nationwide at the popular supermarket chain.
“Patriot Pickle is trying to profit off of Grillo’s 100-year-old family recipe and our trade secrets,” company President Adam Kaufman said in a statement.
“It’s a massive violation of trust and a disappointment that after nearly a decade of partnership, our former co-packer, Patriot Pickle, has violated our agreements and is producing a nearly identical line of pickles for one of our biggest retailers, threatening to permanently damage our business.”
Patriot Pickle’s introduced its 365 product at a lower price at Whole Foods — where Grillo’s Pickles are also sold — during the highest-grossing time of year for pickle sales, threatening the Boston pickle maker’s sales, according to the lawsuit.
“The filing points to Patriot Pickle’s access to Grillo’s proprietary recipes and equipment, use of identical ingredients, and organic acid profile tests as proof of Patriot’s use and disclosure of Grillo’s trade secrets, in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and contracts between Grillo’s and Patriot,” the company said.
Grillo’s first lawsuit, filed in January, alleged that Patriot was making false claims about its pickles that allowed Patriots’ Wahlberg-brand pickles to compete with their bread and butter pickles.
Grillo’s Pickles started in 2008 with an old family recipe that owner, Travis Grillo, had sold from a hand-built wooden pickle cart at events in and around Boston, according to WCVB.
The business was purchased in 2021 by California-based King’s Hawaiian Holding Co. Inc.