Editorials

Corporation has meltdown over ice cream shop’s name for nutty treat

Drumstick by any other name

White Cottage in Belleville changes the name of one of its treats after receiving a letter from Nestle.
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White Cottage in Belleville changes the name of one of its treats after receiving a letter from Nestle.

Put down your Styrofoam coffee cup, put your Pop-Tart in some Tupperware and grab a Kleenex to dry your tears over this epic injustice. Nestlé apparently needs a Band-Aid to cover the financial wound inflicted by the White Cottage ice cream shop in Belleville.

Since sometime in the 1980s, White Cottage has used a certain name for an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. Nestlé just found out and had its lawyers send the White Cottage owners a cease and desist letter saying to stop calling it that name.

You have to wonder how White Cottage’s use of that name for its version of the cold, sweet, nutty treat even got onto Nestlé’s radar. Was the multinational corporation’s third quarter investor call going to be ugly? Did some purist resent the lack of peanuts? Did a passing company executive choke on his Cherry Garden cone when he read the menu?

Nestlé obviously has a right to protect its brand and profit from its investment. But you have to wonder whether the common acceptance of a brand name as the default name for a product isn’t in a company’s long-term best interests.

We’d say White Cottage came out ahead on this one. Before the legal admonition, we didn’t really think much about ordering one.

Now that they used Wite-Out and Post-Its to cover over the offending name at their shop, maybe we’ll hit White Cottage and try a “Cottage Drummie” (Trademark 2017, White Cottage Inc. and its affiliates, all rights reserved).

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