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Cake mistake: Tampa's Alessi Bakeries sues over botched batch of tres leches

Alessi's Bakeries is suing US Foods Inc. over cake pans that they say warped and were misshapen. | Times file photo
Published Jun. 14, 2017

TAMPA — A well-known local bakery is claiming faulty cake pans created a dessert disaster.

In a recent lawsuit, Alessi Bakeries said that a new, undisclosed component in pans the bakery bought caused the pans to warp and become misshapen, ruining nearly $120,000 of their Tres Leches cake.

According to the suit, Alessi paid $5,000 for about 35,000 pans in January 2016 from US Foods Inc. as they had for years before. The pans are manufactured by Pactiv LLC. But despite no markings to the contrary, these pans, Alessi said, were different. Once the cakes were baked, the pans wouldn't support the weight of the Tres Leches and became deformed.

"It wasn't until after the production run that you saw the buckling and the warping," Dustin Deese, Alessi's lawyer, said in an interview Tuesday.

Alessi is seeking damages for the ruined cake, as well as the cost of the pans, storing the blemished cake and disposing of it.

Reached Tuesday, US Foods said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Alessi is a family-run bakery operated through four generations of Alessis. It opened its doors in Tampa in 1912 and initially specialized in Cuban and Italian bread. Now, its shelves are lined with cakes, cupcakes and desserts. It also has a deli and does catering.

In addition to its West Cypress Street location, Alessi has a manufacturing plant in Tampa on Eagle Trail Drive.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.

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