Magnolia Bakery in Buttercream Battle with Former Employee

Eliza Murphy
ABC News Blogs


It's a battle for the survival of the sweetest.

New York City's famed Magnolia Bakery, featured as a city hot spot in "Sex and the City," "The Devil Wears Prada" and even in a "Saturday Night Live" digital short, is suing one of its former employees for allegedly stealing the bakery's signature swirl icing topping.

The federal lawsuit, filed Thursday, demands Buba Trawally, of the Bronx, stop selling cupcakes with the swirl icing at his own bakery he opened last September. A Magnolia Bakery rep confirmed Trawally was a baker for Magnolia from 2008 until 2011, when he left to open his own shop.

Trawally's Apple Café Bakery is located in New York's Greenwich Village neighborhood, competitively positioned just a few blocks away from Magnolia's original shop on Bleecker Street.

In the suit filed in Manhattan Federal court, Magnolia's attorneys claim, "Despite his agreement to preserve all secret and confidential material belonging to Magnolia, Apple … has baked, marketed and sold cupcakes with a swirled icing topping."

A rep for Magnolia Bakery told ABC News, "Magnolia Bakery has filed the claim as a means of protecting our trademark."

Although Magnolia may have already won the buttercream battle. The number listed for Trawally's Apple Café Bakery has a recording saying the number has been temporarily disconnected. And the New York Post reports Trawally's cupcake shop now has a "For Rent" sign in the window.

This isn't the first cupcake war Magnolia Bakery has encountered. The New York Post reports last year, Magnolia's owners Steve and Tyra Abrams sued its co-founder, Jennifer Appel, claiming she shared Magnolia's recipes and business secrets with Nicole Kotovos, who allegedly opened an unauthorized "Magnolia Bakery" in Greece.

Magnolia Bakery opened its doors in the summer of 1996. They now have eight locations around the world, five of which are in Manhattan.

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