JUST IN: Lawsuit claims local coffee shop used fraud, lies to snag retail space

Owners of the former Inside Scoop ice cream shop seek compensatory, punitive damages


The owners of a local ice cream shop claim in a lawsuit that the owner of Grind House Coffee & Tea Company engaged in fraud and defamation to take over their shop's retail space in downtown Fairborn. 

ALSO NEW TODAY: Bunkers Sports Bar owners take back apology to mom, say video does not support her version of baby-food dispute

Robin Joseph and Clinton Allen, owners of the former Inside Scoop Ice Cream Shop at 313 W. Main St. in Fairborn, say in their lawsuit filed July 31 in Greene County Common Pleas Court that Grind House Coffee founder William Miller misled them and local government agencies in order to "take over The Inside Scoop's ice cream shop business.”

>>5 coffee shops you may not know about but should

They are seeking $25,000 in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages. The case has been assigned to Greene County Common Pleas Judge Michael Buckwalter. 

Miller has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. When contacted via email by this news outlet Wednesday, Miller said, "At this moment, because of the pending lawsuit filed by the Inside Scoop owners, I cannot comment."

>> Grand opening next week for new ice cream shop that revitalized vacant Dairy Queen

After opening their ice cream shop on Kaufman Avenue in 2011, The Inside Scoop relocated to 313 W. Main St. in Fairborn in July 2014. Owners Joseph and Allen said after moving their business to the Fairborn downtown business district, visibility increased and helped the sales steadily grow over the next three years. 

Business was paused last year in December when the owners of the building, the Fairborn Development Corporation, and Inside Scoop owners agreed the shop would be closed from Dec. 24, 2017 through Jan. 31 for renovations and repairs, according to the lawsuit.

In early January, Joseph and Clinton reached out to Grind House Coffee founder and CEO William Miller to discuss the possibility of Miller setting up a coffee stand inside Inside Scoop and adding his coffee to their menu, according to the lawsuit. Grind House Coffee was started in 2015 as an online-only retailer. 

After a series of renovation delays, the shop reopened on March 14, but it sold only ice cream because Miller was not yet ready to begin selling coffee, the lawsuit says. The first wedge was put in place between the two businesses when Inside Scoop owners learned Miller allegedly told Greene County Public Health that “he would be taking over The Inside Scoop,” according to Greene County court records.  According to the lawsuit, Miller also sent an email to Hershey’s Ice Cream, the supplier of The Inside Scoop’s ice cream, stating that he had acquired the ice cream shop. Miller denied he ever told Hershey’s he was the new owner, according to the lawsuit.

The ice cream shop owners say in their lawsuit that Miller “made numerous statements ... meant to mislead (us) into believing that he was interested only in running a Grind House coffee stand within The Inside Scoop and then making excuses for his inability to commence that on schedule. Mr. Miller made those statements knowing he truly intended to take over The Inside Scoop’s ice cream shop business.” 

Finally, on April 17, Inside Scoop owners discovered their names had been crossed off an application for a license to conduct a food service operation inside the Main Street building, and Miller’s place was hand-written as the name of the license holder. According to the lawsuit, this effectively drove The Inside Scoop out of business. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: >> New business brewing in downtown Fairborn starting TODAY

On April 23, Grind House Coffee held its official grand opening as a stand-alone coffee shop, inside the former building of The Inside Scoop. Three months later, the coffee shop abruptly closed. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: >> Fairborn coffee shop abruptly closes, announces new location in Huber Heights

Miller then opened a new Grind House location inside the Huber Heights Meijer store. The shop’s grand opening was held on Aug. 1. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Butler County city receives grant to battle drunk drivers
Butler County city receives grant to battle drunk drivers

The Butler County OVI Task Force announced that the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Traffic Safety Office awarded $224,999 in federal traffic safety funding to the city of Oxford for the fiscal year 2019. The Butler County OVI Task Force, which is comprised of law enforcement agencies in Butler County, will utilize this funding to continue...
5 factors that led to Sears filing for bankruptcy
5 factors that led to Sears filing for bankruptcy

Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday after years of struggling to become profitable. The company that hadn’t seen books in the black since 2010 is hoping to restructure under the bankruptcy filing and return to profitability. Here are five factors that contributed to the company falling into bankruptcy: E-commerce is the culprit just...
Sears’ departure will ‘certainly be an impact’ on Dayton area
Sears’ departure will ‘certainly be an impact’ on Dayton area

Sears announced its bankruptcy filing Monday, prompting customers to share a heavy dose of nostalgia, even if they hadn’t purchased any of the brand’s iconic Craftsman tools, Kenmore appliances or other merchandise in years. In a few months, both the Sears at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons will close their doors, leaving...
Daughter of officer killed in 9/11 attacks graduates from NYPD police academy
Daughter of officer killed in 9/11 attacks graduates from NYPD police academy

The daughter of a police officer who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks graduated from the New York Police Department Police Academy on Monday, WPIX reported. >> Read more trending news  Jillian Suarez, 26, said she wanted to continue the legacy of her father, Ramon Suarez, who was killed while trying to save people at...
Dayton woman accused of using daughter to create child porn
Dayton woman accused of using daughter to create child porn

A Dayton mother has been arrested and returned to Pennsylvania to face charges she created pornographic images of her 3-year-old daughter. 26-year-old Kayla Parker of Dayton was charged with sexual abuse, exploitation of children and other offenses, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday....
More Stories