Wild Edibles Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 29, 2008

Wild Edibles, a New York seafood wholesaler, retailer and restaurant, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 17.

According to a Crain's New York Business report, the company has $2.2 million in assets and $2.1 million in debt. Many of its creditors are based at the Hunts Point Fish Market in the Bronx, N.Y.

The company operates four retail sites, a restaurant on Third Avenue in Manhattan as well as a wholesale operation that services upscale restaurants in the city. According to the report, its revenues totaled $16 million last year.

The company is embroiled in a long-running clash with nonprofit labor organization Brandworkers International, which represents about two dozen former Wild Edibles employees who claim they weren't paid for overtime work; several former employees claim they were fired after they banded together and filed a lawsuit in federal court.

Brandworkers says Wild Edibles has lost 33 customers over the dispute. The latest to join the group's protest to cut off purchases is China Grill Management, run by celebrity restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, which Brandworkers says stopped ordering from Wild Edibles this week.

"I'm glad that China Grill has shown concern for the well-being of our families, even if Wild Edibles is not yet able to do so," says Cesar Barturen, a former employee of 10 years. "I can't understand why [Wild Edibles owner] Richard Martin has chosen a protracted fight rather than accepting a reasonable settlement."

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