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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Deal Gone Sour

I had seen reports of the great pickle lawsuit, but I was surprised to see the story featured on the front page of the NY Times Metro Section:
What is in a name? Or, for that matter, a pickle? And would a pickle by any other name taste as garlicky, as sour, or, yes, as sweet?

Those questions, and more, are being raised by a lawsuit recently filed in Manhattan federal court. At stake is the ownership of the name and recipes of Guss’s Pickles, the venerated pickler and Lower East Side staple since 1920, when the neighborhood teemed with kosher butchers, clothesline-ringed tenements and immigrants on the make.

On one side is Patricia Fairhurst, a relative newcomer to the pickle scene, who took over the tiny Guss’s Pickles store on Orchard Street near Broome Street in 2004. She may be found there six days a week, wrapped in an apron, topped by a newsboy cap and spouting Brooklynese, selling the briny little cucumbers and other pickled delights from bright orange barrels that line the sidewalk and lace the air with salt.

On the other side is Andrew N. Leibowitz, scion of a pickle empire, who in 2002 opened a Guss’s Pickles store in Cedarhurst on Long Island. Mr. Leibowitz insists that the name is his alone, because, his lawyer says, he purchased, from the owner who preceded Ms. Fairhurst, the Guss’s Pickles “trademark, name and good will,” along with rights to its pickle formula and customer lists, around the time he opened his shop.

Orthofamily's thought on the matter: Thank God for the local Guss' Pickles. We are regular patrons of the Cedarhurst location - and are especially partial to the half-sours, sours, and pickled tomatoes.


Blogger DAG said...

They are good in Cedarhurst....any thoughts on the legal claims?

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the picled peppers rock too. and how happy are you that they switched to glass jars? those old plastic ones never stayed closed.

8:21 PM  
Blogger DAG said...

I dont like the glass....doesn't seem to be as homemade..too processed

11:04 PM  
Blogger topshadchan said...

the plum tomatoes are out of this world.
their pickled garlic is amazing

11:01 AM  
Blogger ZM said...

Sours all the way for us. We used to buy them in the Lower East Side, and see if we could get them to last all the way home to Queens.

They never did.

1:29 PM  

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