Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed a complaint against Icebox Cafe, L.C. and Icebox Cafe at MIA, LLC, Miami restaurants, for allegedly supplying non-locally sourced or sustainable products as claimed on restaurant menus. Icebox Cafe at MIA, a self-proclaimed farm-to-table eatery, allegedly misled customers by claiming the restaurant received state certification as a local provider and sold local products. However, national food distributor, SYSCO, provided much of the food sold.
“Many Floridians want to know where and how their food was grown, and we will not stand for any restaurant misrepresenting the origin of the produce they sell to deceive customers seeking locally-sourced, fresh food,” said Attorney General Bondi.
Farm-to-table is a growing movement for consumers looking for a more health-conscious lifestyle, willing to pay top dollar for the freshness and uniqueness these restaurants provide. Attorney General Bondi’s Office along with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are currently looking into the business practices of so-called farm-to-table restaurants across the state to ensure consumers are not being deceived.
The Icebox Cafe eateries are allegedly in violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, as a result of allegedly making false or misleading statements, as well as material omissions regarding the food products offered and sold to consumers.
Some examples cited in the complaint include:
- Claiming one restaurant sold produce from Paradise Farms, in Homestead with no record of purchase from this source;
- Offering fish such as wild salmon, with no invoices substantiating that claim; and
- Falsely professing to create Garden-to-Glass and Farm-to-Bar cocktails made with ingredients often picked from a nearby garden.
The Attorney General’s complaint seeks permanent injunctive relief against the defendants. The companies also face civil penalties for violations of FDUTPA.
To view a copy of the complaint filed, click here.