Eminger Berries files for bankruptcy

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BANGOR – Eminger Berries, the Auburn-based gourmet food business that won a spot on the Food Network and Paula Deen’s show, has filed for bankruptcy.

Despite the national exposure, the two-year-old business closed last month. Bankruptcy documents seeking Chapter 7 protection were filed June 20.

In them, Eminger Berries shows assets of $124,974, and liabilities of $229,537. Among the liabilities are unpaid bills to FedEx ($26,815); UPS ($12,003) and credit cards totaling almost $53,000. Dozens of other creditors are listed, including a $65 unpaid traffic ticket to Auburn police.

The documents also list no income from Eminger Berries for 2007; $27,000 in 2006; and an $8,000 loss in 2005.

The business sold specialty, gourmet stuffed strawberries from the former Black Watch restaurant, before moving to its own location on Grove Street in Auburn.

Susan Eminger, a Johnson & Wales culinary school graduate, was an executive chef in Denver, where she worked with traditional chocolate-dipped strawberries. At her husband’s suggestion, she experimented with stuffing the berries with cheesecake, a process she patented.

She opened her business in April 2005, working primarily with online orders from her Vernon Street home.

The bankruptcy filing indicates she and her husband and two small children are relocating to Texas. Calls left for her attorney, Richard O’Brien, were not immediately returned. A meeting of creditors has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 16 at the Ramada Inn.

– Carol Coultas

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