Santa Fe sandwich shop blindsided by lawsuit from coffee chain

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - A sandwich shop in Santa Fe said it was blindsided when it learned it was being sued. Its attention-grabbing name and logo was based on local history, but a national coffee company with a similar name wants them to change it.

Shannon Quintana is proud of being from Santa Fe.

"I was born two blocks from here," said Quintana.

When he opened his sandwich shop in January, he wanted it to represent the history of its Downtown Santa Fe location.

"Because we're right in front of Burro Alley which back in the day they sold wood on loaded donkeys right outside," said Quintana.

Inspired by Burro Alley, he chose a donkey as a logo, and chose the name Bad Ass Sandwich Company as a play on that. His menu -- sandwiches named after people he said fits the name.

"Rock stars, football players, some movie stars. We have pictures on the wall of local badasses," said Quintana.

But this donkey and his store's name is now a problem.

"They're Bad Ass Sandwich company, we're Bad Ass Coffee Company, but anybody in the public would be confused into thinking they were associated with us," said Ben Allison, attorney for Bad Ass Coffee Company.

The Bad Ass Coffee Company, a Utah-based chain, is now suing the sandwich shop.

"Getting our customers in the door. Thinking they are getting our client's product, when they are actually not," said Allison.

Shannon said he was first contacted by the coffee company's lawyers in June.

"They have a patent on the donkey and the Bad Ass Coffee Company, so we'll take it off the company," said Quintana.

Quintana has since officially changed the registered name and logo with the state as Santa Fe Bad Ass Sandwiches, with a bull as the mascot. He said he also stopped selling coffee and merchandise immediately.

"After they sent me the letter, I don't sell mugs or anything else. We sell one t-shirt and that's it," said Quintana.

He said he wasn't trying to cause any problems.

"I don't want to steal anything from anyone. This is my one chance to open my one place. I don't want to be like anyone else," said Quintana.

The coffee chain said it's seeking money for the damages caused from the confusion, the lawsuit does not say how much.

The sandwich shop said new signage throughout the entire store is in the works.


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