Industry News | June 14, 2017 | By Alex Dixon | QSR Exclusive Brief

No Soup for Anyone: Soupman Files for Bankruptcy

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The New York City food company made popular by the Seinfeld TV series has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Soup producer and marketer Soupman filed for protection Tuesday, though the company says it has secured a new $2 million bankruptcy loan to finance its working capital needs and allow business operations to continue as usual.

"The combination of legacy liabilities and recent company developments have made it necessary to seek bankruptcy protection. This will ensure that our delicious soups remain on grocery shelves throughout the country which is in the best interests of all of our stakeholders and customers,” CEO Jamie Karson says in a statement. "The ongoing support from our lender through our new DIP facility will allow us to continue business operations as normal. We anticipate that there will be no disruption in the quality of our product or service that we provide to our vendors and customers during this transition period.”

According to the filing, Soupman has assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $10 million and $50 million

The bankruptcy filing comes after the company’s former CFO Robert Bertrand was charged last month with 20 counts of failing to pay federal income taxes, Medicare, and Social Security for Soupman’s employees between 2010 and 2014. Bertrand has pleaded not guilty.

Soupman’s total alleged approximate unreported cash and stock compensation was nearly $2.86 million, and the total alleged approximate tax loss to the U.S. was about $594,000.

Al Yeganeh, who inspired the “Soup Nazi” character played by Larry Thomas on Seinfeld, opened his soup store in 1984, and the company now licenses his recipes and persona for restaurant locations, supermarket, and onlines sales.