Food company slams Pink Sauce founder, says it’s considering a defamation suit
A food company is considering filing a defamation lawsuit against Pink Sauce founder Veronica Shaw, who alleged in a GoFundMe effort that it failed to pay her and be transparent about business records.
In a lengthy statement outlining a timeline of events, Dave’s Gourmet LLC claimed it had given Shaw a total of $161,449.37 since entering into a partnership in August 2022, including cash advances and past due rent payouts. The company’s assertions contradict what Shaw shared in her “Help Get Justice for the Pink Sauce” GoFundMe initiative, which has received a $24,240 donation from Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving.
– reached out to Shaw multiple times: when she first brought forward the allegations and again after Dave’s released their newest statement. She has yet to respond to at least four requests for comment.
Officials at Dave’s said they reported Shaw’s GoFundMe undertaking for fraud, but the fundraising platform has not taken action to remove the page “where she is asking for funds under false pretenses.”
“We want other people to have factual information on this case prior to considering making a donation,” Dave’s said. “We hope that people share the facts on social media about the sequence of events related to this matter, so that Shaw can no longer spread misinformation about our Company.”
Dave’s shared in its statement that they entered into an agreement with Shaw, Pink Sauce LLC and Flavor Crazy Inc., declaring that the entities would promote Pink Sauce through digital material, including posting on social media at least three times weekly.
In exchange, Dave’s would establish the product’s requisite shelf stability, make the formula suitable for commercial production, adhere to the Food and Drug Administration production rules, and manufacture and sell the PS product online and in stores.
“At the time, Shaw was not producing PS because FDA instructed her to cease all the production due to quality concerns (she was making PS in her kitchen and was shipping it without refrigeration in the heat of the summer and the sauce frequently went bad during shipping as evidenced by many social media posts from buyers),” the statement read. “The sauce was not shelf stable and was not safe for shipping without refrigeration. There was huge negative publicity online and on social media due to the quality issues that Shaw had experienced. According to the agreement, Shaw received an upfront payment of $45,000 as a part of the Agreement for DG to pursue the sales of PS.”
Shaw was liable for all refunds for items that preceded the agreement, which she examined and negotiated with her attorney’s assistance before signing. However, Dave’s allegedly learned Shaw and her corporations didn’t have the funds to cover all reimbursements to consumers, so they contributed about $30,000 to help.
The terms of the agreement allegedly indicated Shaw would earn royalties based on the company’s gross profit on Pink Sauce sales and a milestone payment for specific accomplishments.
Dave’s cautioned Shaw that royalties should not be her exclusive source of income because they might vary and to have a regular job to provide financial security.
Fast forward: Dave’s allegedly granted repeated cash loans totaling more than $40,000 over several months without charging any interest or fees to help mitigate Shaw’s financial difficulties in the fall of 2022.
Shaw indicated in March 2023 that she had spent all her prior advances and needed another loan to feed her children and escape eviction, so Dave’s provided two $5,000 advances but urged her to keep working her other job and continue pursuing her private chef career.
The company said Shaw sought over $10,000 in marketing expenditures to throw herself a birthday party in February 2023 and asked for over $1,400 to pay for her outfit and shoes. Shaw separated herself from Dave’s joint marketing efforts after the company requested a reduced budget and refused to authorize the charges.
Dave’s said because of all the cash advances, the funds sent to Shaw exceed what she earned under the agreement’s terms. In addition, they allege, Shaw had certain obligations in the agreement related to her social media activities that she violated multiple times and ignored repeated reminders to adhere to the terms.
Shaw has also rejected the company’s proposals to handle the situation amicably, countering with multiple million-dollar demands for Dave’s to continue selling Pink Sauce. However, the company said the current agreement does not need any special extension payments, renewals or permissions from Shaw to move forward.
While expressing disappointment for the failed partnership, Dave’s invited consumers to try their “bold and flavor-packed hot sauces, pasta sauces, creamy hot sauces, [and] olive oils,” including Pink Sauce, currently sold at a retail price.
They noted that the product has a distinctive taste and an interesting twist on salads, fries and chicken tenders.
“DG’s consistent support of Shaw was rooted in our desire for a successful partnership,” the company shared in their update. “Our primary objective throughout this partnership was to ensure the successful commercialization of PS while upholding our company’s values of integrity, transparency, and commitment to our partners and customers. Unfortunately, despite DG’s continuous efforts to maintain a constructive relationship with Shaw, our efforts were met with recurrent challenges.”
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