Craft Beer Cellar starting to crowdfund legal fees...

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by Rysk22, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Zealot (544) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Another great look for CBC corporate... poor franchisees.

    "Embattled Massachusetts-based retail franchisor Craft Beer Cellar is asking the public for $250,000 that it says will be put toward “past, present and future legal demands.”

    The request, posted to fundraising platform GoFundMe, comes about two months after the retailer’s parent company, “Craft Beer Stellar, LLC,” had a lawsuit against employment website Glassdoor dismissed by a federal judge in Massachusetts, and about one month after it filed a lawsuit against one of its franchisees."

  2. cmoney13

    cmoney13 Initiate (153) Sep 9, 2017 Massachusetts

    how bout no
    WeymouthMike, mltobin, jrnyc and 7 others like this.
  3. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (278) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    Looks like they won't be seeing money from cmoney
  4. JakerLou

    JakerLou Meyvn (1,224) Jan 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Referring to Craft Beer Cellar as "Craft Beer Stellar" eleven times in the article was really distracting.
    ECOBOOSTINST likes this.
  5. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,592) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    So much LOL.

    This particular segment below irks me.
    “We are honest, good people, who some may just not like, because we are female, because we are married, and therefore lesbian, and because we are true entrepreneurs,”

    Is that really the cause or is it strawman-ish...? I've just never heard anyone who is critical of them or their practice infer anything remotely along those lines. Honest question.
  6. DrewLS

    DrewLS Initiate (148) Oct 7, 2012 Massachusetts

    They ooze humility:

    "With such rapid growth in the first few years, backed by, primarily, the work of only the two of us, we made some mistakes, which have cost us dearly...Still, to this day, there are few that work harder than the two of us."

    And funny that they're concerned about protecting their reputation -- trying to crowdsource legal fees after gloating about their success is likely to become a PR nightmare.
    tgould55, zeile33, Nichols33 and 3 others like this.
  7. NYR-Zuuuuc

    NYR-Zuuuuc Disciple (396) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    yea..ummmmm No. You have to be kidding me. LMAO.
    Nichols33 and colby600 like this.
  8. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    The simplistic idiocy of this is just fantastic.
  9. JakerLou

    JakerLou Meyvn (1,224) Jan 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    My bad, missed the parent company blurb at the beginning. Reading is hard...
  10. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    They lost their lawsuit against Glassdoor but claim that this cash grab has nothing to do with that. For anyone thinking of donating, please think about what you’re doing. Basically funding their efforts to sue disgruntled current and former franchisees.
    LuskusDelph, jrnyc and SunDevilBeer like this.
  11. xugrad13

    xugrad13 Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    Leave it to Andy Fastow over here to see right through this last ditch crowdfunding ploy. Lawsuits stink for everyone involved.
  12. pbrian

    pbrian Crusader (746) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    They've raised $1200 in 5 days :rofl::rofl::rofl:
  13. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Owner of Idle Hands donated. Gonna guess no one from Down the Road chips in.
  14. DrewLS

    DrewLS Initiate (148) Oct 7, 2012 Massachusetts

    I need to shut my brain off but honestly, the more I think about this whole situation, the more I admire the gumption and obliviousness these people have to set up a campaign like this, for their own legal defense fund, during the holidays. It's the most brazen act of misguided self importance that I've seen recently, a complete and absolute misvaluation of their importance. I think this about sums it up:

    "We sincerely hope that this has and will continue to make a difference in your life!"
    yuppiescum, Myles048, jrnyc and 10 others like this.
  15. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    They’ve proven through their own words and actions, time and time again, to be just awful and arrogant people.

    You came up with a good business idea and executed well right as craft beer took off. Congrats. However, the franchise model was flawed from the start, and good beer is now everywhere. People don’t need to pay you a fee to know that beer should be refrigerated (which they rarely are at CBCs), social media is your best marketing tool, the labels should face out, and 6-packs/singles have better margins than 12-packs/cases. Your business model is toast and your franchisees are all waiting for their deals to expire, and you want your consumers to give you money to sue them? Why anyone would donate money to this “cause” is beyond me.

    It’s a week before Christmas. Find a real charity and do some good. Donate to an LGBTQ charity to offset the nonsensical “people don’t like us because we’re lesbians” claim in their post. Everything about this is bullshit.
  16. mountaindewORcrabjuice

    mountaindewORcrabjuice Initiate (75) Sep 6, 2017 Connecticut

    Ouch. Should've kept that sexual orientation card in their deck. I mean it's 2018. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makes no one uncomfortable anymore while Ellen is the supreme overlord of our mortal lives. Don't think it's fair to fabricate bogus sympathy, at least from this angle. The LGBTQ community worked pretty damn hard to gain acceptance and it sucks to see two of their own create any sort of opportunity for divide.

    The only place I've ever felt uncomfortable by being different in any way is upstate Florida. Now if this was CBC Nassau County, I might kind of be more understanding.
    #16 mountaindewORcrabjuice, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    bostonwolf, DanPing and EnronCFO like this.
  17. djbrown13

    djbrown13 Initiate (199) Jul 19, 2012 Massachusetts

    Hell of a few months for PR nightmares in the NE beer scene. I just wish Trillium had set up a GoFundMe for the raises for their retail workers.
  18. Nichols33

    Nichols33 Poo-Bah (1,742) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    How is this not a violation of Pay to Play? Bottle shop owner soliciting money from breweries and distributors?
  19. DrewLS

    DrewLS Initiate (148) Oct 7, 2012 Massachusetts

    Suzanne and Kate were at City Tap tonight, for at least a few hours.

    Had to restrain myself from trying to have a chat with them.

    Glad they're working so hard to protect their business while they try to stitch together a GoFundMe.
  20. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Were they passing a hat around the bar?
  21. LukieBL

    LukieBL Initiate (104) Jun 10, 2015 Massachusetts

    So to get actually receive the GFM money, you need to meet the full goal right?

    The hubris to think the general public would cough up a quarter million for a vague “legal” fund is stunning.

    It’s hilarious too because this will fail, the money will be returned and all it will accomplish will be to expose these business owners as scumbags.
  22. Shyla987

    Shyla987 Initiate (133) Jul 18, 2013 Connecticut

    No, on GoFundMe you don't have to reach your goal. You keep any money donated (minus GFM's fees). Kickstarter is the one where you have to reach your goal to get any money.
  23. Mpom9999

    Mpom9999 Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2018 Massachusetts

    Can someone please help me to even intellectually understand this pursuit? So...if I understand correctly, they are asking the general public to "donate" or pay for any current or future legal bills that they incur? And the basis for this plea is that they feel unjustly criticized and feel the need to generate law suits against people? This can't be for real.
  24. pbrian

    pbrian Crusader (746) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    Interesting, did not know that. But it makes sense that if someone sets up a GoFundMe account for a family that has just suffered a tragedy, that they would get the money donated. Setting up a GFM account to sue your franchisees in the future if need be, umm, no. GFY
  25. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Zealot (544) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    It’s almost as if this isn’t a for-profit business that charges some of the highest prices out of all beer retailers
    ECOBOOSTINST likes this.
  26. ElmerTLee

    ElmerTLee Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Connecticut

    Maybe they should have used some of those excessive profits they made from me and others.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  27. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    If they’re in such a tough spot that they need to beg for donations, it’s worth asking: what happens to the franchise agreements if Craft Beer Stellar (UGH!) goes under?
    ElmerTLee likes this.
  28. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (84) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    This is doing more to hurt their reputation than any glassdoor reviews, which i totally forgot about until now. Begging for money so that they can sue people? This is making me think of that Amys Baking Company episode of kitchen nightmares.
    I usually stop at the Belmont store on my way home from work on Fridays, but this is definitely making me reconsider.
  29. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,592) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Yep this is definitely making me feel like never shopping in any CBC ever again.
  30. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Yeah, but I don't want to punish the franchisees that are already having to deal with these jerks. The whole thing sucks.
  31. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Zealot (544) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    It seems like a good amount franchisees would be happy to be free from the CBC name. Wonder how many are rooting for their downfall?
    LuskusDelph and Nichols33 like this.
  32. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,592) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Sure but I still have a hard time giving Kate and Suzanne 5% of my sale.

    Really curious what they expect to do with the money. I can't imagine they'd go after any current, active franchisees because they'd just be shooting themselves in the foot. And how would Idle Hands feel after giving them money to go after other CBC owners who, ya know, sell Idle Hands products in their stores... ?
  33. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire reading about the actual glassdoor lawsuit, it doesn't appear that CBC is suing one of it's franchisees, at least that I could see:

    It looks like they were suing to have trade secrets pulled from the negative glassdoor review: Craft then filed suit against Glassdoor alleging that the postings had contained trade secrets, e.g. sales projections, costs, margins, and franchisee store value, and that in publishing this information, Glassdoor had violated the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act

    I don't think I would have filed suit for those items, but it's easier to imagine why someone might since other than those items, opening a beer store isn't exactly rocket science.
  34. nolanz14

    nolanz14 Initiate (195) Aug 31, 2009 Massachusetts

    There are plenty of other stores around that offer most of what CBC does. The last time I went in there I had a hard time picking up anything new. Most of their inventory is sitting on dusty shelves as well.
  35. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Right, but they have sued franchisees. And stated in the article(I think) that this cash grab is not related to the Glassdoor suit and related costs. So,what is it for?
  36. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

  37. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (599) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

  38. DrewLS

    DrewLS Initiate (148) Oct 7, 2012 Massachusetts

    I feel like they were absolutely not prepared for the challenges that come with scaling up a biz, especially getting into the franchise game. It's completely naive to think that they'd be able to grow without major hiccups, particularly in a market that's as crowded as food and beverage.

    Maybe they should ditch the idea that they're making a difference in peoples' lives and be content with running their own retail shop. They're over their heads and what they are doing is not a social enterprise. It's a stretch to think they've made a difference in anyone's life except for maybe a young brewery here or there, but ultimately franchisees (or any other store for that matter) can do the same thing without the corporate entity
    EnronCFO likes this.
  39. pbrian

    pbrian Crusader (746) Feb 8, 2001 Connecticut

    yeah, maybe that's the case, but that doesn't mean you have to be complete assholes in conducting your business.

    And there is some value in many franchises (trust me, I know, my wife owns a franchise), so don't throw all franchises out with this polluted bath water.
    LuskusDelph and jrnyc like this.
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