CUPPY’S COFFEE: Spurned CFO Sues Cuppy’s Parent Medina, FranSynergy for $132M

(FranchisePick.Com)

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  • CUPPY’S COFFEE, Java Jo’z, Elite Manufacturing, Medina Blogliography
  • Seems like only 7 months or so ago that Cuppy’s Coffee parent Medina Enterprises was joyfully announcing the appointment of Don Ochsenreiter Executive VP and CFO. It seems like just 7 months ago that Ochsenreiter was excited about all that Medina had accomplished, all it was going to accomplish, and its contribution to the local business economy.

    A lot sure can change in 7 months.

    In that amount of time, Medina was purchased by Dale Nabors’ Fransynergy, Ochsenreiter was reportedly let go, the staff was cut, the company was beseiged by lawsuits, and Medina’s final contribution to the local economy was renting the trucks to move the Home Office to Muscle Shoals, AL.

    Oh, and Donald Ochsenreiter joined the growing number of jolly plaintiffs by suing Medina & FranSynergy for $132,306,000.

    *  *  *  *  *  *  *

    The March 10, 2008 press release is still alive on Cuppy’s blogs, remnants of a simpler time… back when Cuppy’s Coffee only had opened, well, pretty much the same number of the 300 sold franchises that are open today:

    Don Ochsenreiter joins Medina as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    10 March 2008

    Medina Enterprises, a Fort Walton Beach based holding company, announced the newest addition to its executive management team with the hiring of Don Ochsenreiter as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer…With Medina anticipating tremendous future growth, Ochsenreiter’s primary objectives are to establish optimal capital structure for the company to facilitate its imminent growth, and to help Medina achieve this growth building a solid financial foundation.

    Since its origins over 22 years ago, Medina has been helping grow franchises on a national and international level. In 2007 alone, Medina welcomed two new franchise companies to the family, Planet Wings and San Gelato Café. Medina also franchises for Cuppy’s Coffee and will add another franchise to its portfolio by second quarter of 2008. The corporate offices in Fort Walton employ over 100 people…

    “I am very excited about what Medina has accomplished in the past year and a half, and I am very optimistic about its future prospects,” said Ochsenreiter. “Medina is a great contributor to the local economy and it is refreshing to have such a growing company here that diversifies our local business community. I look forward to developing a long-term strategic plan to ensure the company’s continued success.”

    Less than 2 months later, Dale Nabors and FranSynergy acquired Medina and the associated properties.

    Today, jd reports:

    Well, it looks like a new lawsuit has been filed in federal court, this time with Medina and Fransynergy named as defendants:

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-flndce/case_no-3:2008cv00457/case_id-51868/

    Doing a quick search on the name, it appears that this is the former CFO and Exec VP of the company. Also looks like he is demanding quite a bit of money. No documents have been filed at this time.

    Looks like troubles continue to mount for Medina & its owner Fransynergy:

    OCHSENREITER v. MEDINA ENTERPRISES, INC. et al
    Plaintiff: DONALD C. OCHSENREITER
    Defendant: MEDINA ENTERPRISES, INC. and FRANSYNERGY, INC.
    Case Number: 3:2008cv00457
    Filed: October 9, 2008
    Court: Florida Northern District Court
    Office: Pensacola Office [ Court Info ]
    County: Okaloosa
    Nature of Suit: Contract – Other Contract
    Cause: 28:1332 Diversity-Breach of Contract
    Amount Demanded: $132,306,000.00

    The details of the suit are not yet clear, but one thing is:  you can never anticipate the next twist or turn in the ongoing saga (soap opera, nightmare, farce, black comedy, Greek tragedy, money pit, loss of innocence, outrage, debacle) that is Cuppy’s Coffee.

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    Photo licensed under Creative Commons.  Photo credit: SideShowMom

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