DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (CN) – A South Florida bakery says its former director stole its secret to a good bagel: a 14-step process that gives local tap water “the quality and characteristics” of New York City tap water. The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel claims Donald Kurtzer swiped the trade secret and its copyrighted mantra that “Brooklyn water” is the “the key ingredient necessary to create the nation’s finest bagel.”
“It’s all about the water,” Original Brooklyn Water Bagel’s Web site states.
Original Brooklyn says Kurtzer learned this baking secret while running its company with his son-in-law, (nonparty) Steve Fassberg, from 2007 to 2009.
“The purity, quality and temperature of New York City’s world renowned water completes the perfect recipe for bagels, and replicating the New York water to make the perfect New York bagel has become the holy grail of bagel bakers outside of New York,” Original Brooklyn’s Web site states.
Original Brooklyn claims that when Kurtzer left to start his own bagel company, he nicked its “highly confidential” treatment, through which it infuses local tap water with distinctive elements of New York City tap water, to reap the bagel baking benefits.
The bagel baker claims in Palm Beach County Court that Kurtzer’s new bakery, Famous New York Baking Water Corp., uses a marketing and company concept almost identical to its own.
Delray Beach-based Original Brooklyn claims that Kurtzer infringed on its trademarks and violated his confidentiality agreement. It seeks an accounting of Kurtzer’s profits, an injunction to stop Kurtzer from using its business model, and damages for unfair trade, trademark infringement and “counterfeiting,” among other charges.
Original Brooklyn says that in addition to using its specially treated “New York-style” water to make bagel flour, it bottles the water. It says it has sold about 15,000 bottles.
It is represented by Eric Lee of Boca Raton.