The Roasting Plant's New York-based parent company and local franchisee/investor Elizabeth Rose are in throes of a bitter power struggle, according to Metro Times' reporter Ryan Felton. On February 3, Rose filed a suit against the parent company seeking repayment of more than $2 million in investments and damages. Rose alleges that the company is insolvent due to the "oppressive" leadership of president and majority stakeholder Michael Caswell.
However, the company has since filed a counter-complaint, Felton reports. The Roasting Plant maintains that Rose attempted to restructure her equity interest in the parent company, made false claims about the company's financial situation, and is actively thwarting the company's efforts to gain new investors. The company further alleges that Rose was conspiring with other board members to take the Roasting Plant international. Rose resigned from the board on January 14.
Rose's attorney says the feud won't impact her Campus Martius location; however, one does wonder whether the situation has contributed to the delays at Rose's second franchise location that was set to open in Birmingham over the winter.