A COLD war has broken out after a popular retro ice cream parlour accused a rival of opening an almost identical shop.
Cindy Bettcher, owner of the Lickety Split ice cream parlour in Seaham, has taken legal advice following the opening of Lickerty Lick in Fulwell.
Cindy, who has won three awards for her North Terrace shop since it opened two years ago, claims the new store’s name, menu and American diner-style interior has led customers to believe the Fulwell venture is one of hers.
Today, Lickerty Lick hit back claiming that while both parlours offer the same types of ice cream, they are “totally different”.
But Cindy believes there are too many similarities with her business and, while not afraid of the competition, wants action taken.
She said: “I don’t want to be associated with it.
“I’ve been to see a solicitor to see if I can stop them. They are passing themselves off as us.
“The one thing that’s come out of it is how proud my girls are who work here, they’ve really taken what has happened to heart.”
Cindy found out about the Fulwell shop when one of her customers mentioned it.
The 59-year-old launched the creamery to follow her dream after surviving breast cancer.
She has posted messages on Facebook and Twitter to tell followers her shop stands alone, although in time she does hope to launch other branches.
She is looking into expanding her Seaham premises, which has been mentioned in national newspapers and credited with giving Seaham a tourism boost.
Karen Seafield, who is handling the public relations for rival Lickerty Lick, said the shops differed in prices and menus, which have sundaes named after the owners’ children, and added: “It’s not as if it’s been set up in Seaham.
“Lickerty Lick is totally different from Lickety Split. I can see how some comparisons are made.
“But there is an ‘r’ in Lickerty and their shop is in County Durham, we’re in Sunderland.
“If they want to take legal action, that’s OK, if they feel the need for it.
“However, we know from market research, people in Sunderland wanted an ice cream parlour.”