Tonight, Julie Norris, founder of the beloved Dandelion Communitea Café, posted up a new website called #resolutionnotdissolution. In it, she goes public about a legal dispute she's been engaged in with Chris Blanc, a co-owner of the cafe who filed to have the company dissolved earlier this year due to what court documents say were management issues.
Norris says on the website that she wants to resolve the situation rather than dissolve the company (which she says could potentially put Dandelion out of business). The two go to mediation to discuss the situation further on Aug. 19, according to the statements on the website, and Norris promises to keep loyal Dandelion fans and friends up to date by posting the legal documents on the site as the case develops.
Here at the Weekly, we've heard some of the rumblings about the dispute, but we haven't heard many details. We do know one thing: It would be a tragedy if yet another Best of Orlando winner went out of business after we honored them. Is there a Best of Orlando curse? Why can't everyone just get along? Who knows. But we do hope Julie and co. keep serving up that magical chick pea mash that wins our Best Hummus category every year.
UPDATE: Co-owner Chris Blanc responded below in the comments. We're posting his comment in this blog, as well, so it's easy to find.
[Public Statement from Chris Blanc]
This is Chris Blanc, owner and General Manager of Dandelion Communitea Cafe with an important public statement. Dandelion has always been greater than any one person – we are an entire community. We are honored that our beautiful community continues to reward us with the love that is sustaining so well right now. We are also happy to report business is very good and despite any rumors you may have heard to the contrary, we plan on keeping our doors wide open for you all indefinitely.
I feel it is important to shine some light on our situation to dispel unfortunate rumors that may be circulating in regards to the partnership dissolution of Planet Progress, LLC, a legal 50/50 corporate partnership between Julie Norris
and myself, that owns and operates Dandelion Communitea Cafe.
There are two sides to every story, yet, I respectfully and strongly dispute everything Julie Norris has presented in opposition to this partnership dissolution. I am merely seeking a fair end to the legal corporate partnership that exists between myself and Julie Norris, which is not functioning with equal participation or respect. As a result of dissolution, I expect ownership and responsibility of Dandelion will simply transfer to a new ownership entity – preferably myself or Julie Norris, or possibly a third-party.
Dandelion continues to operate sustainably under my full-time management. The cafe’s operational and financial strength is bolstered by the court-appointed custodianship and protection of Stephenson & Moore, Inc. – a well-reputed firm with over 25 years experience in these matters. Our doors are open for business and will remain so. We are happy and honored to continue
providing great food, place and atmosphere to our community.
In regards to what Julie Norris has publicized about this case, I strongly deny all allegations of any wrongdoing or misconduct of any sort on my part. I respectfully request the community to not take sides based upon public posts of only one party. Over the years, I have made several attempts to privately mediate a settlement, and now I believe the legal system is the appropriate place for the adjudication of this partnership dissolution.
While we appreciate your continued patronage of Dandelion Cafe, it is important to understand that the company is not accepting or in need of any financing related to our legal costs. There is no company-official or company-sanctioned fund to save Dandelion Communitea Cafe. I implore you not to donate money to any cause without knowing all the facts. The factual allegations of all parties in this dispute are a matter of public record. [Case# 2014-CA-000113-O, Orange County, FL]
Thank you for your love, support and continued patronage of Dandelion.
See you around the community,