Lanzalotta/Micucci Controversy

Maine a la Carte has posted a report on the news that Stephen Lanzalotta is no longer running the bakery at Micucci’s.

Lanzalotta sent out an email on Thursday to his Piatto per Tutti mailing list. In it he explains that he’s been fired for ” ‘overstepping my bounds’ in advocating for raises and fuller workweeks for bakery assistants”. The letter goes on to establish his claim to the recipes used and the bakery and asks for a boycott of baked goods at Micucci’s.

Meredith Goad contacted owner Rick Micucci about the issue,

Rick Micucci, president of Micucci Grocery Co., confirmed Friday that Lanzolotta is no longer working at the store, but wouldn’t say why or give any other details. “It is something I can’t comment on,” he said, “but the bakery is operating as usual.”

3 comments on “Lanzalotta/Micucci Controversy

  1. Hasn’t it been represented that Lanzalotta was renting the space from Micucci? If he was just an employee, then it is Micucci’s bakery and products. If a chef leaves a restaurant, the restaurant is allowed to offer the same dishes. If they continued to claim he was making the pizza, that is a different story.

  2. To my knowledge, Lanzalotta was an employee of Miicucci’s. Miicucci’s never had a sign that said it was his pizza.

    Pizza slices were being served there today with a very long line waiting for the next batch to be servied up.

  3. Its fantastic that, with so little information, people can so confidently declare whats what and who is right and wrong. Nothing is ever so black and white, for goodness sakes. Seems much more likely that the truth is somewhere in the murky gray middle.

    Is it possible that Lanzalotta and Micucci’s had an oral agreement that he would retain rights to his recipes? Absolutely. (and for those who are familiar with him and his work, it would seem likely) Is it possible that Micucci’s has a legal right to retain use of the recipes given a lack of written agreement to the contrary? Absolutely. What transpired in the 6 or 7 years that led to this? Who knows. Is one party wrong or the other? Both? Yep. No doubt.

    Micucci’s benefited greatly from their association with Lanzalotta. National attention, the whole nine yards and will continue to. Lanzalotta walks away with what? Certainly his reputation as an exceptional baker. But his product, his unique commodity is no longer his own. Micucci’s could do any number of things to offer other exceptional quality products that would maintain their stature and reputation. Lanzalotta no longer has those products that only he could produce, that he mastered and made his living from. And in a legal battle, the advantage falls so, so heavily with Micucci’s. Regardless of who is right or wrong, having the money to fight a legal battle almost always equates to a win.

    Again, I don’t know who is right or wrong. But when I see a battle between the powerful position and powerless, it makes me think twice. When it comes to business money comes first, bottom line. Legal is one thing and ethical is another.

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