In further proof that God is very, very unhappy with us, Breads—the incomparable Israeli bakery that has opened several locations in Manhattan and gifted the continent with history’s best babka—is currently experiencing a bitter feud between its two chief partners.
According to a demand for arbitration, filed earlier this month and first reported by Eater, Uri Scheft, the baking guru who started the brand in Israel under the Hebrew name Lechamim, is alleging that Gadi Peleg, his business partner, is hiding profits and trying to wrestle away culinary creative control.
Breads, according to the arbitration demand, has generated $10 million in revenue last year alone, but Scheft, who moved back to Israel as part of the agreement with Peleg, now claims that his partner not only withheld due payments, but also appropriated recipes for his other New York restaurant, including the newly opened and celebrated Nur.
In an even greater affront, Breads, the demand for arbitration claims, started offering “an ever-growing number of unauthorized products that do not meet Scheft’s standards for quality and authenticity.” These include pan-baked cheese mousse jars, potato bureka sandwiches, white shakshuka, epi baguettes, and chocolate pretzels. Peleg, the document continues, “has essentially purged Scheft’s name from the Breads Bakery website and publicity materials. Indeed, on information and belief, Peleg went so far as to falsely attribute the creation of Scheft’s renowned chocolate and Nutella babka to chef Edan Leshnick, a false attribution that was reported by the widely-read New York food blog Eater.com.”
The dispute, sadly, eventually got physical. “Peleg,” reads the demand, “also physically obstructed Scheft’s next quality control visit, in April 2017.On that occasion, Peleg directed a security guard to refuse Scheft access to the bakery. Peleg himself also forcibly grabbed Scheft’s cellular phone, apparently to prevent Scheft from photographing the unauthorized products on sale. The phone was eventually returned by PIM’s counsel, but only after Scheft was forced to file a report with the New York City Police Department.”
No resolution is likely for at least a few months. At stake is our happiness. Lord help us all.