Fired Garrett Popcorn Shops employee accused of stealing secret popcorn recipes, lawsuit alleges

ByMeghan Kluth via WLS logo
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Garrett Popcorn Shops' former director of research and development is being accused of stealing the Chicago company's secret popcorn recipe.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Garrett Popcorn Shops filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against a former employee who allegedly stole 5,400 files from the company before getting fired.

The former employee, Aisha Putnam, was the director of research and development for four years at the iconic Chicago chain. She was one of three people who had access to their private files. The company says the recipes were guarded so closely a thumb print verification is required to access them.

Putnam signed a non-compete as well as a confidentiality agreement. After Putnam left the company she signed a document saying that she deleted all of the information in her possession, but refused forensic review of her electronic devices.

RELATED: Behind the scenes at Garrett Popcorn Shops

The information she sent herself included product processes distribution agreements, supplier information, and pricing. The lawsuit alleges that she took with her a USB containing 5,400 files containing the vast amount of information.

On Tuesday, the Garrett location in the Streeterville location was busy and customers were adamant about their loyalty to the gourmet popcorn.

"We have to have their back, the way that they've had ours, with really good popcorn," said Hammad Isa.