Dishes, equipment and supplies from Joey’s Cannoli bistro, co-owner Maria Leone claims, have been taken by a partner and are being used at a competing establishment two blocks away in New Rochelle.
Leone, of Eastchester, sued her own company, partner Franca Capuano Rossignuolo and New Roc Pizza on Jan. 22 in Westchester Supreme Court.
“Rossignuolo is running New Roc Pizza,” the complaint states, “funded in large part by the misappropriation of plaintiff’s financial and commercial interest invested in Joey’s Cannoli Inc.”
Rossignuolo said she is an employee, not the owner, of New Roc Pizza, and she would ask her attorney to respond to the allegations.
Joey’s Cannoli was founded in 2017. The espresso bar and café at 18 Division St. specialized, as its name suggests, in several varieties of the tube-shaped, fried dough, ricotta filled Sicilian pastry, as well biscotti, sfogliatelle and other sweet Italian delights.
The telephone was out of service on Monday and the café is apparently closed.
New Roc Pizza operates at 23 S. Division St., and Rossignuolo either owns it, the complaint states, or maintains an interest in it through her husband, Joseph, who is not named as a defendant.
A pizzeria with the same name once operated on North Avenue but went out of business in 2017, according to a New York corporation record. The new New Roc Pizza, according to the complaint, is not incorporated.
In 2017, Leone bought a 50% interest in Joey’s Cannoli from Joseph Bonanno, according to the complaint, for $20,000.
Franca Rossignuolo allegedly ran the bistro.
Around August 2019, the complaint states, Rossignuolo began “taking supplies, fixtures, equipment and inventory from … Joey’s Cannoli Inc. to use and sell at New Roc Pizza,” without Leone’s knowledge.
By September, plates, glasses, flatware and equipment stored in the basement were gone. Customers began asking if the business was moving down the street, Leone claims, because they had noticed its fixtures and equipment at New Roc Pizza.
She claims she overheard Franca and Joseph Rossignuolo bragging that they were opening a pizzeria and moving Joey’s Cannoli’s business down the street.
The complaint also states that catering payments were diverted and that customers were told to pick up their orders at New Roc Pizza.
Leone accuses her former partner of breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of proceeds and unjust enrichment. She is demanding at least $50,000 and a declaration that New Roc Pizza is a successor-in-interest to Joey’s Cannoli.
Leone is represented by New Rochelle attorney Joseph Cinquemani.