Amanda House & Chris Delaney of YOPRO Sue Loblaws for $20M – Broken Dreams & Melted Yogurt

Amanda House & Chris Delaney of YOPRO Sue Loblaws for $20M – Broken Dreams & Melted Yogurt

chrisamandaCFN – For Chris Delaney and Amanda House their dreams were coming true.    The handsome couple seemed to be on their way as their dream was coming true and their new product, YoPRo was accepted into nearly 300 Loblaws stores.

Chris Delaney.  Happier times as the first production run of YOPRO rolled.
Chris Delaney. Happier times as the first production run of YOPRO rolled.

That dreamed turned into this appeal that went viral on You Tube.

Amanda and Chris are now suing Loblaws over broken promises they allege that left their company in embers and ashes and the couple broken financially and heavily in debt.

Galen_Weston JRWe did have a response from Mr. Galen G Weston, Executive Chairman of Loblaws Companies Limited.

“I reviewed Ms. House’s YouTube post yesterday evening.  The events she describes are deeply disturbing and do not in any way meet the high ethical standards aspired to by Loblaw Companies and outlined in its code of conduct.  Putting the legal protocols of this situation on hold, I have requested a personal meeting with Amanda to better understand the situation and we will do our best to resolve it right away.”

From Julija Hunter
Vice President, Public Relations
Loblaw Companies Limited

“What I can say is that we did carry the product in hundreds of our stores for more than a year and unfortunately it did not perform well.  We have been willing to talk with Ms. House and Mr. Delany to resolve this matter and have had mediations scheduled in an effort to settle their 20 million dollar claim. “

So how did Loblaws get from the birth of an interesting product that the chain embraced to a $20 Million dollar lawsuit and a dream in ruin?

I spoke with Amanda this week on phone and on Facebook and we chatted extensively about the process.   She claimed that with her purchase orders from Loblaws that she was able to get one of the major Canadian banks to give YoPro financing, but that Loblaws delayed their agreement leaving them cash poor and with product in freezers needing to be on store shelves.

That led to more funding from many sources including friends and family and ultimately not being able to eventually fill Loblaws orders.

To add alleged insult to injury after a year or so she alleged that Loblaws put out their own private label product that the couple feel is very familiar to their own.

yoPro

It’s like a segment of Dragon’s Den gone very very wrong.

CFN

Do you still shop at Loblaws stores?

Amanda House

Absolutely not!

CFN

What has the impact of this tragedy been on your family and you and Chris as a couple?

How could Loblaws fixed this during the process?

Has any company come out with a product comparable to YoPro yet and is there any chance of it returning to the market?

What triggered your You Tube video to Mr. Weston and what has the response been like? Is there any possible way you think that Loblaws can fix this mess nearly two years after it all went down?

Amanda House

Well, the financial devastation comes first. We have had tremendous support from family members who have also contributed financially…to see them lose their investment and question whether they can retire as they planned is devastating. And of course there is the ongoing stress that comes with being in a mountain of debt; fighting the largest and wealthiest company in Canada; and not knowing when this will come to a resolution. The stress and anxiety never leaves…there is never a break from that…it is extremely toxic….which can lead to other health issues. Relationships suffer as a result.

There were many opportunities for Loblaw to fix the issues. Simply following through with their commitments was all we expected.
Until this past spring, there were no products like YoPRO; however, Loblaw has recently launched a similar product under their PC label. That has lead to us amending our statement of claim in August 2012.

There was also a patent application involved, which complicates things further.
At this point, I don’t know what the future holds for YoPRO. It is difficult to let your dream die. We’re just trying to take this one day at a time.

Our credit has been badly damaged, which will make it difficult to attain business loans…but we will see.
My video was really out of desperation. I was sitting in the hospital, looking at Chris lying in a hospital bed; questioning why it had to get to this point.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think my video would reach so many people. the outpouring of support has been overwhelming to say the least and it gives us the strength to persevere.
It has been more than 2 years since this began…all of the issues began back in 2008…and it has been a long 5 years. I am open to hear any solutions Loblaw may have to fix this….they have a wealth of resources at their fingertips.

CFN 

If you learned one lesson from this personal tragedy what would it be and what would you say to new Entrepreneurs?

Amanda House

The biggest lesson I learned….keep records of everything.

If we hadn’t kept all of the documentation relating to our case, we wouldn’t be able to act on those broken commitments.

Of course with litigation in play just about anything can happen.  Loblaws faces the wrath of Social Media now and it should be interesting to see how this case rolls.   Sadly Chris is suffering extensively from his own medical issues leaving Amanda to brave the fight mostly on her own under stressful conditions.

You can post your comments below.    What do you think?  Did Loblaws play fair with the couple?  Do stories like this impact your shopping decisions?   And do you like I know want to go and munch on some Frozen yogurt bars?

 

Start Communications

 

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10 Comments on "Amanda House & Chris Delaney of YOPRO Sue Loblaws for $20M – Broken Dreams & Melted Yogurt"

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Joanne
Guest
We have had family members work for Loblaws for as long as I can remember…why because they were fair employees so I cannot see how they would not be fair in business practices….but I cannot garantee that as well. This story seems ONE sided and I really hate when people but things out like this. I feel bad for her finance but to blame his illness on Loblaws because having been ill myself can attest to having a good life stress free life but still be handed the bad card. That is the way illnesses work and I had to… Read more »
Reg Coffey
Member
I have dealt with Loblaws before in a previous career and I have to say that they are brutal with suppliers and co-packers. Their standards are unrealistically high which, as a consumer, I thought was a good thing but now it looks like they have gone the way of McDonalds. They force small producers into debt to meet their contract and then pull the contract after a year or two and the small company goes bankrupt. At least McDonalds bought the bankrupt companys to supply their needs but is seems Loblaws simply steals the product and gets another company to… Read more »
John Mac
Guest

Wow! Sour grapes or what? From what I can see, young Amanda and her husband broke three cardinal business rules. One, they grew way to fast with stars in their eyes, two, they borrowed from family (very bad) and three they put all their eggs is one basket.
From Loblaw’s standpoint, it looks like they put the product on the shelves and it didn’t sell. Maybe too sour just like Amanda.

Mary Anne Pankhurst
Member

the retail business is brutal and unless you’re part of Big Food it’s a dog-eat-dog world

Wow!
Guest

Due dilegence is very important in business. You didn’t do it. You lose like thousands of others every year. Stop whining. Panic attacks don’t make you stop breathing and it is impossible to not sleep for four years. Suck it up cookie! Go bankrupt and take some responsibility. The product is as original as a pet rock.l

Wow!
Guest

And John Mac is right on with his observations. By borrowing from family and losing the money you entire life will be ruined if you don’t get over it.

Popcicle Stick
Guest

Business is business. Although you don’t foresee things like this happening when you go in, they can happen. I think Amanda and Chris got in way over their heads (no money), and things just didn’t work out for them. I’m not saying they weren’t treated unfairly, but like I said, things can happen. It also sounds like they had all their eggs in one (shopping) basket. Had they had deals with other major outlets they wouldn’t be hurting as much. Live and learn.

Pac alis
Guest
While I feel sorry for the difficulties faced by the two entrepreneurs, they also seem very naive. First I agree with many here that Loblaws wants a successful product, they are not in the business of deliberately trying to take down entrepreneurs. If they didn’t think this was a loser it would be on the shelves. There are also details of this story that are also really weird. On another site I read that there was a patent taken on this product in 2006, but then in 2010 “Delaney said. ‘Now our patents are gone and we still owe a… Read more »
paul
Guest

I fully agree with what Amanda House and Chris Delaney are going through. These big corporate companies try to manipulate you in any way they possibly can. You don’t realize it until you have personally gone through it and experienced it yourself first hand. I have personally {MODERATED} RONA HEARTLAND STORE IN MISSISSAUGA and I know what it feels to be in their shoes. RONA HEARTLAND store, Mississauga, is {MODERATED} Its time these companies look into it and stop losing their customers.You go guys and sue their ass off.

abc
Guest

Amanda and Chris were warned through the process by staff at the Guelph Food Technology Centre to take the process slow. they refused to listen.

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