Back to legal questions

Asked in Oregon, United States |

Feb 2, 2024
Portland Oregon coffee options

A few weeks back, I decided to expand our offerings by including some seriously gourmet coffee options. I’m talking about beans sourced from all over, including some local roasters from right here in Portland Oregon. Everything was going great until I got wind that another café, let’s call them “Brewed Awakenings,” also in the Pearl District but closer to the Waterfront, claims that I’m stepping on their toes – something about a verbal agreement we supposedly had (which I don’t recall) regarding not entering into each other's primary business territory. They’re threatening legal action, saying it’s hurting their business, and they're hinting at suing for damages.

Now, I’m all for fair competition, but this feels like it’s coming out of left field. We never had anything in writing, and my intention was never to start a turf war over coffee. I’m worried about the implications this could have on my business and, honestly, I’m not sure how to proceed. Do they have a leg to stand on here without any formal agreement? And what steps should I take to protect my shop without getting dragged through the mud?

I’d really appreciate your take on this because I want to handle it the right way, without causing more drama than necessary. Plus, I’ve got my regulars asking about the new brews, and I don’t want to disappoint them or have to backtrack on our new offerings.

No replies yet!