Suzanne Somers is an actress and entrepreneur who has several successful business ventures under her belt. Her latest venture, Suzanne’s Kitchen barely got off the ground before she turned tail and walked away, leaving an investor holding the bag. Louisville businessman and bankroller John Shannon Bouchillon filed suit in Fayette Circuit Court seeking $400,000.
Somers latest brainchild was a do-it-yourself meal prep franchise that was touted in promotional materials as a way to “bring back the family dinner.” Suzanne’s Kitchen offered ingredients for a number of meals, and customers would come into the store to assemble the dishes, then take them home and pop them into the freezer or immediately bake and serve.
The actress hooked up with former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown and they held the grand opening of their first flagship business in November 2006 in the Tates Creek Center of Lexington. A few short months later, in February 2007, the doors were closed.
According to Somers’ partner Brown, the start up fell apart quickly because Suzanne altered the original concept, decided to offer up only organic ingredients, making the venture “impractical and uneconomical.” He threatened to sue Somers for $5-$10 million, making Bouchillon’s suit look like a request for chump change.
Bouchillon’s attorney, W. Craig Robertson III said, “In reality, there was no agreement that had been reached…and ultimately Suzanne pulled the plug on the whole arrangement. That left everybody hold the bag, including my client.”