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Sprouts stores battle over name in Temecula

October 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A major legal battle is sprouting up in Temecula. A mom-and-pop store is being sued by a well-known grocery chain, and it's all over a name.

Sprouts Farmers Market, which has stores all across the western U.S., is suing Sprouts Natural Market, demanding that the store stop using the Sprouts name. But the owners of Sprouts Natural Market said they started using the name first, two years prior.

"They made it a David and Goliath thing. Prior to them suing us, they had come to visit us on multiple occasions and made it very clear to us that they are the big guy, and they could stomp us into the ground," said Paul Cook, co-owner of Sprouts Natural Market.

But just last week, the mom-and-pop store claimed a small victory when they got a preliminary injunction ordering the grocery chain to cover up all its signs at several Inland Empire stores.

The co-owners of the mom-and-pop store are relieved, because of all the problems they say they've dealt with, such as customers getting confused about advertisements.

"I did not know that they weren't the same. I thought they were all the same. I thought it was the same chain," said customer Lauri Crampton of Menifee.

Sprouts Farmers Market said it is not commenting on the lawsuit at this time. The case itself has yet to go to trial.


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