Crumble wars as London dessert bar accuses new Manchester business of ‘heartbreaking’ copying

A new Manchester business has been accused of copying ideas and concepts from an existing independent in London.

Crumbled, a new dessert bar pop-up in Spinningfields, has ‘copied every single aspect’ of a small business in the capital, its owner claims.

Kim Innes, 26, says she’s been left ‘shocked and heartbroken’ by the similarities between her business Humble Crumble and Manchester’s Crumbled.

Kim launched her concept in 2018, and now operates two permanent market stalls in Old Spittalfields Market and at Borough Market in London.

Humble Crumble in London

She said she has been inundated with messages from followers alerting her to the ‘identical’ desserts up north.

Kim said: “The whole thing’s just been heart-breaking, just because I’ve spent the last three years of my life thinking about my concept day and night.

“I’ve refined it to make a really high quality and delicious crumble, that looks as good as it tastes, and I think it’s shocking that someone has taken everything that I’ve done and spun it and claimed it to be their own.

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“It just surprises me so much, I’m kind of still in shock.”

She added that Crumbled appears to have mimicked several aspects of her presentation – from piped and torched marshmallow toppings, to rose petal and edible glitter garnishes, to the pots and trays the crumbles are served in.

Kim continued: “There are many ways in which you can present a crumble and she chose to copy my unique design.

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Crumbled in Manchester

“I’m still in shock over this. I truly cannot believe that my business has been copied to this extent.

“I can’t believe it because of how obvious this plagiarism is and I can’t comprehend why they would choose to not differentiate from Humble Crumble.

“I’ve fought to keep my business alive during the pandemic, I’ve had to pick myself up off the floor when I thought I’d lose my business to Covid and now it feels like I’m having to do the same again.

“I’ve poured my life, my creativity and my heart into Humble Crumble and to see all my efforts be stolen feels so unjust and heart-breaking.

“It really does feel like they have robbed me in broad daylight.”

Crumbled opened within Wolf Italian Street Food last month and has quickly become a viral hit.

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The pop-up in Spinningfields

The business has been launched by international fashion model Chloe Peers, who said during launch week: “It’s a little bit different and very instagrammable.”

Kim says that her Humble Crumble account is followed by Chloe, so she ‘cannot claim to be unaware of our business, our aesthetic or our offering’.

She added that she had hoped to launch a branch of Humble Crumble in Manchester as the business expands.

She said: “We know that Humble Crumble would have been so well received in Manchester – we get so many requests to open there.

“It does feel like this would stunt our progression, because we couldn’t open in Manchester with someone doing an identical product to us.

“We’ve had a lot of people message us but we don’t know what we can do – we’re a small business and legal fees would just be too much.

“At the moment I just feel powerless, I don’t know what I can do and what I should do and whether anyone would actually care.”

The M.E.N. approached Chloe and the business, but they declined to comment.

What do you think? Blatant copying or fair game? Have your say in the comments below.

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