Saying Good-bye to The Everyday Foodie

BloodyMary“If life deals you lemons, make lemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys” — unknown

A major brand has decided that my blog branding infringes on their trademark and IP. They’ve also accused me of cybersquatting. They’ve ordered me to cease and desist with my domain and to transfer all domain rights to them.

Well then.

I (and my legal counsel) disagree. I’m clearly not cybersquatting because I acquired my domain in good faith and am in no way interested in reselling it to any brand. My domain is occupied and thriving. Of the two accusations, this one offends me the most, largely because all the brand had to do to figure out my intention for the domain for themselves was to visit my site for a look-see. However, they seem to be more interested in sending out threatening letters than actually investigating their claims. The trademark and IP issue is a little murkier because judging similarities, and thus infringement on trademarks and IP, is so subjective, although my site would never be confused with any of the visual elements of the brand. And honestly, as much as I love my little blog, it’s not like I’m a threat to this brand’s revenue streams or a source of brand dilution. Compared to the ocean that is this brand, my blog is a drop of water.

While I know that sending out C&D letters is something every large company does regularly in an effort to protect their brand and IP, that a few bad apples have had to make those brands hyper-vigilant, and that I really shouldn’t take this whole thing personally, I do. To me this is an example of the desperation exhibited by so many companies as they try to exert control over their brands in a changing world. Their brand is like sand. As they feel it slipping through their fingers they close their fists tighter only to find what they are so desperately trying to hold on to is slipping away even further. I’ve been a customer and advocate of this brand for years. Until I received the legal notice two weeks ago, I was a marketer’s dream: a loyal purchaser who regularly recommended the brand’s products and publications to my friends and family. I’m a content creator and active on social networks, both of which increase my personal reach and influence and gave me more opportunities to be their advocate. Now they have lost me as a customer and advocate forever, with all that that entails. What they may have gained in perceived brand protection they have lost in the profits and the lifetime value of a loyal customer.

As both a blogger and a social media marketer, this entire episode saddens me. The world of branding and marketing is changing at the speed of light, and so many companies are fumbling about trying to figure out how to change their approach to exist in an environment of empowered consumers who have found their voice. I thought this favorite company of mine was on the right track, given their progressive work in community development and social media. Sadly, they’ve reverted to form and I find that they haven’t really changed. Deep down they are still the same old brand terrified of losing an ownership they never really had in the first place. I expect they are very much not alone. The only bright light for me is that companies like Dell have started to figure out who’s really in control of their brand and how to embrace their customers instead of continuing futile attempts to have power over them. I hope others, like this big brand that thinks I’m such a threat, will follow suit one day.

Now What?

I’ve talked with my legal counsel and considered my options. There are two paths ahead of me: fight or walk away. The title of the post indicates which path I’ve chosen.

I firmly believe that I am in no way infringing on a brand’s trademark and I’m certainly not cybersquatting. Were this disagreement to find its way to court I have reasonable expectation that I would prevail. However, the reality is that I am a single individual with limited resources and this brand is a big company with deep pockets, desperate to protect their (perceived) brand ownership, and with all the lawyers in the world. It’s not like any court battle between us would be on a level playing field. I suspect they are counting on this reality when they send out notices like the ones I received. They expect most people to be intimidated by them and to give up in the face of a mountain of legal resources. I’m happy to say that I’m not intimidated because my lawyer is a brilliant and amazing woman who makes the murkiness of the legal world clear and navigable. Instead I’m empowered to choose what’s best for me, my blog, and my personal brand as a foodie.

The last two weeks have taught me that I can’t fight for the existence of my blog in its current incarnation and contribute to its growth. I have decided that I would rather focus my energies on continuing to create content that is useful to others and on improving my skills as a food blogger and beginner photographer. I’ve built a strong network of local and national food bloggers whose writing and company I truly enjoy, and I would rather spend time with them than with my legal team figuring out our next move. Any legal battle I would win would be bittersweet because it would have come at a cost I’m just not willing to pay in either money or time lost focusing on my blog and the great food blogging community.

Help Me Rebrand My Blog

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to rename my blog and re-launch it with a new brand to match. I see this as an opportunity for change and growth, and to refine my general philosophy of making cooking and entertaining easy for everyone. All of the content I’ve created to date will exist on the new site, but I want to take this time to rethink everything about my blog. I’m lucky enough to have access to a great creative team and some brilliant marketers whom I will ply with food and wine to help me think through my new brand, but I’m just as lucky to have a great readership whose input I value greatly.*

What parts of my blog do you like the most? What would you like to see more of? What should I stop doing? What need do you have that my blog could meet? What food blog do you wish existed but doesn’t? Do you have an idea for a cool name or concept you think fits me just perfectly?

I’m open to any and all suggestions about how to make my new blog better so it can better serve the needs of my readers, because in the end, that’s what I’m here for.

*Legal stuff (not because I’m paranoid or anything): I will absolutely credit anyone who helps me come up with a new name or concept for my blog. However, any input posted here becomes part of my blog and the contributor waives all rights to ownership or future interest in that information. Please don’t offer something here that you want to take back later or otherwise be compensated for.


  1. Natanya – I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this, but appreciate your “let’s make lemonade” attitude. I’ll give some thought to your questions and send my thoughts. Kristi

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you so much. I look forward to your thoughts and input. This will be a group activity for sure.

  2. Wow. I can’t believe you’ve been going through all of this. We follow you, not the Everyday Foodie, so we’ll go where you go. I can’t wait to find out — off the Internets and the record, just for my personal knowledge so I can avoid supporting the aggressive big-name company… — who exactly is behind this.

    Keep up the good work and you’re smart to pick your battles. Life is tough enough as it is sometimes.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Addie – you’ve done such an amazing job organizing all of us locally and that group has given me such great encouragement today, so thank you for making that happen. It’s so great to know you’re there as I work through this and we’ll definitely talk, off the record of course.

  3. Judith /

    You are so right that this issue is exploding as the worlds of corporate brands and personal brands collide in this hypermedia fragmented marketplace and social connectivity. I direct a major brand for a national non-profit and I can see both sides. I need to ponder and process before contributing any input. I’m a slowcooker, not a microwave when it comes to analyzing precarious situations. I’ll check back. Good luck!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I completely understand and appreciate that you can see both sides. Because I work for national brands for my day job, I was initially conflicted as well. I wish there was a better way for brands to resolve these issues instead of just starting with the legal department. I would have been happy to have a sane conversation with the brand, but they came at me guns blazing. It’s my great hope that folks like you can help brands find ways to navigate this new world while protecting themselves as well. It’s a delicate balance. I’d love future thoughts after they have time to percolate.

  4. I am so sorry that this is happening! It’s really ridiculous. But good for you for handling it so well. I’ll think about some of the questions you’ve asked and get back to you.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you so much. I’m a big fan of yours and would really appreciate any input you have.

  5. This happened to me too! (Link to article about it below) As someone who received a ton of support and love from the food blogger world, and the publishing world, I say STAND YOUR GROUND! This area is untested and as such, you may have a stronger leg to stand on than you think. DYING to know what company this is so I can boycott their products! Hang in there! Food bloggers unite!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I have to say I’m shocked to see you received this treatment as well. I think there’s enough of cyberspace to go around for all of us to play nicely. Hang in there yourself – it looks like we’re both not done yet.

  6. Ugghhh. What a hassle to have to deal with this! Good luck with choosing a new name, and I look forward to seeing it and your and site.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks so much Lisa. I look forward to your thoughts on my new concept (whatever it may be).

  7. We’re behind you no matter what you do.

  8. What a bummer! I’m happy to help you brainstorm a new name. I ended up changing my blog’s name late last year from to It’s actually fun getting your readers ideas and votes and then coming up with a new name…I’m thinking we should come up with a name that gives props to your amazing entertaining/organization skills!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      As always, so glad to have your thoughts Jodi. I didn’t know you’d had a different name for your blog. I really like TastyTouring 🙂 I look forward to the brainstorming session, and yes, I think I need to focus more on the planning/organizing side. See you soon.

  9. We went through the same thing in 2001 when Tiffany & Co. threatened legal action against us. That’s why we’re called Tiff’s Treats now instead of Tiffany’s Treats. I agree 100% with what Addie said about choosing your battles and how people follow you, not just your URL. We thought about fighting it back then for a long time and we actually had a very strong case the way the laws were written in 2001. However, we are SO glad we decided to move on and concentrate on the company, not spending our time in a legal battle (not to mention money). Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or need advice/help. Good luck!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you so much for sharing this story with me. It helps to know that I’m in such good company – we’re big fans of yours at my office. Sometimes choosing to walk away from a battle is hard but I know it’s the right thing for me and my blog.

  10. I feel for you. It isn’t fair what you are going through or will have to give up. I admire your attitude! Please letus know where you go so we can follow you there. I would like to know who the major pain in the butt is!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I’d like to share who the brand is, but given that legal threats are their first line of fire, I worry that they will get more aggressive if I name them. I will happily share my new site when it’s ready though and look forward to your thoughts. Thank you for the support.

  11. Hearing this makes me a little sick to my stomach. I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. Just know that your community supports you in your decision.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I have to say that the outpouring of support from the Austin food blogging community almost brought me to tears this morning – I’m so lucky to live here and blog here. Thank you.

  12. Fuck ’em. I say fight fight fight. I’m so disappointed in this.

    Not once – EVER – that I’ve been reading your blog have I thought about Martha Stewart. Never. Actually, I never think about Martha Stewart. Maybe that is their fear. So very sad and I’m so sorry to hear that this is what you’ve been dealing with. You’re the better person for it I will be sure to boycott that major brand.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Disappointing is a great word – you’d think a big company would be more confident in their branding but maybe not. I appreciate the fighting words – make my hold me head just a little higher.

  13. Donaldson /

    Honestly, I don’t know what the legal implications would, but I would like to know the company as well. Comsumers vote with their dollars. Hang in there. It’s only a matter of time before the tired old reptile that is print understands that if it wants clean teeth, then it needs to work with the little birds rather than eat them.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I love that analogy – working with the birds instead of eating them. In the end I take some comfort in the fact that progressive brands that understand the power of a loyal consumer will prevail over those that are still living in the past. I’ll be doing business with those brands. Thank you for the support.

  14. maeby /

    ugh this is disgusting. Sorry Martha, you lose me as a customer too.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I hope that brands will one day figure out that they grow their brand by sharing.

  15. Jodi Paul /

    I agree with everyone else. It is your content I’m interested in, not the delivery vehicle.

    That said, if I can think of anything helpful, I will let you know right away! 🙂

    I’m really disgusted to hear about all this and wish you well as you create your New and Improved™ blog!

  16. Natanya, really sorry to hear this. I really like how you are making it into an opportunity. The shame is no doubt these people aren’t a huge billion dollar company who has to send out hundreds of C+D letters every week. This means they could have taken a more personal and diplomatic tack with you, likely kept you as a customer and maybe even turned you into a bigger fan while still getting what they wanted. They simply didn’t recognize the opportunity staring them in the face to reach out to you. I wish you the best of luck, no doubt you will come out with an even stronger blog presence out of this!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks for the thoughtful response. I too wish there had been some middle ground we could have found. Lord knows that I understand a brand’s position and the millions of dollars it spends each year to establish and grow the brand. I would have happily worked with them to figure out how everyone could win. In the end I do hope that my blog is better – that’s my goal anyway.

  17. Aaron (AustinEpicurean) /

    I agree with Addie, you need to pick your battles. And going up against MS (which is who I assume is doing this) ain’t an easy task. I think you have better material anyway! 🙂 And we all follow that, not a name.

    Do what I do . . . envision her with her nice little ankle bracelet counting her diminished returns of late. 🙂 What kind of person are you if your daughter gets her own show that is based on bashing you??

    Rock on!!!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      You know, that vision has given me more comfort than you can know. Thank you so much for the kind words and the laughs just when I need them. I’m really enjoying our twitter connection.

  18. Matt /

    I guess I should consider myself fortunate that no major brand has yet trademarked Doogs…

    This really is a shame, though, but what can you do? In my experience, a sense of context can be pretty rare within corporate legal departments, and they can create situations like this, which steamroll the little guy and will probably end up a net negative in the revenue stream thanks to legal costs and the loss of a loyal and active customer.

    I agree with Doug. There’s a middle road that could have (and should have) been pursued by the company, but wasn’t. But I have every faith you’ll come away with an even stronger blog when all is said and done!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I think you should go out and trademark “Doogs” right now – their loss 🙂 I like the thought of legal missing the sense of context, we certainly have to navigate that on a daily basis and in this I wish I had an advocate or at least a channel at the brand to help with that. As always, thanks for your support in work and personal endeavors.

  19. So psyched by the massive outpouring of support for you here! Keep me in the loop as you move onward and upward.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Me too! I’m just amazed. Consider yourself looped.

  20. That certainly sucks. I wish you all the success in the world and know that just like the movie “Baby Boom”, big company will come knocking to buy you in the future.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I certainly hope you’re right. Thank you for the very kind words.

  21. You might want to consider contacting the EFF, who basically exist to fight battles like yours. Good luck.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks for the recommendation – I didn’t even think of that.

  22. As an echo of the rest of your commentors, we read your work, not your URL, so while it’s silly to have to change your name, what isn’t silly is the amount of support you have from the community. Have fun establishing a new brand, and take pride in the fact that you’re “big enough” to warrant attention from big brands.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I really love this perspective – it helps put things in a light I hadn’t considered.I am so very lucky to have such a strong support base and I’m fully committed to making everyone proud for lending me that support. Thank you!

  23. I can honestly say this is my first visit – linked through a fellow Tweeter. I’m abhorred by this action though, and just as a blogging comrade am throwing all my support your way. Since I’m a new reader, I can’t give any constructive advise on re-branding, but really admire your decision. I agree with those who rally to stand and fight, but you’re doing what you think is best, and that’s what matters. You’re putting your readers first. Cheers to you and I can’t wait to see the new threads.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I’m glad you found me even if it was through this somewhat unfortunate situation. I hope you like what you’ve seen and that you’ll come back for the next incarnation.

  24. You should have an “Everyday Foodie” RIP Tweetup whereby we can all throw new blog names at you until you find the right one.

    Good luck!

    – jd

  25. So, so sorry about this, Nat! I can’t believe the brand (aka Martha Stewart, I believe as somone else pointed out) is doing this. Really – do they have nothing better to do?? BUT, I agree with your decision, especially because I think it will allow you to concentrate your efforts on bigger and better things (Food Network!!!). If I have an epiphany of a new brand name for you, I’ll definitely let you know. Otherwise, I’m always available to brainstorm over wine! 🙂

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Hi Mindy – thank you for your unwavering support through this and so many other not-so-fun things. I will absolutely be taking you up on your offer to help brainstorm, you’re one of the best marketing minds I know.

  26. I’m incredibly sorry to hear this is happening to you. Good luck with the rebranding – look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks April. It’s been great to meet and hang out with you at our local food blogger activities.

  27. Oh for fuck’s sake! Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to tell people they can’t name their daughters Martha.

    This is ridiculous! I can see your point–the fight would be long and tiring. But part of me would love to see you be a thorn in their side.

    Good luck!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      You know, you’ve articulated exactly how I feel about this whole thing. I appreciate your support and you and your blog have been a huge inspiration for me.

  28. Why not tell us who they are? Perhaps your followers can canvas on your behalf? even boycott this group?

    Either way, good luck to you.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I so wish I could but given how litigious they appear to be, I think it would possibly cause more trouble. What I will say is there have been some good guesses on the board about the source.

  29. I like your idea of viewing it as an opportunity to come up with a new name. Let the brainstorming begin!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you – I’m looking forward to the creative exercise and the renewed joy of working on my blog.

  30. This is terrible! While I do understand your decision to yield rather than fight, a small part of me wishes you’d take them on. Regardless of what happens, you’ve got a lot of people behind you.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I tell you that daily a small part of me yells that we should be fighting but I’m all about living to fight another day. I really appreciate your kind words.

  31. good for you for taking the high road – always the way to come out on top.

    i’ve always thought the namesake of that brand was a hateful harpie anyway. karma’s a bitch baby.

    best wishes and keep us posted!!! 🙂

  32. Ugh, so sorry to hear about this, but I second the sentiment that it is the comment/person and not the URL that I follow. Can’t wait to see what you do next!


  33. This makes me angry and I’m in the camp that wishes you would fight them. However, I recognize that you’re energy is best spent elsewhere. It just bothers me that they’re able to push people around.

    Do you think they also sent Yahoo! a C&D order? If not, then this confirms my anger.

    In other news, this post inspired me to spin off my own recipe/cooking blog that draws on my name and edges dangerously close to an established brand.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      If an outcome of this is that you’re starting your own blog then it was well worth it. I love getting glimpses of your food via tweets and Facebook, so I can’t wait to read your blog. I’ll be one of your first RSS subscribers!

  34. Ridiculous. I’m so sorry you’re going through this – it does just confirm many of the things I’ve always thought about that company (assuming we’re guessing right) and its owner!

    We’ll follow you and back you up, too! Can’t wait to help with the rebranding/renaming.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you so very much. I can only imagine what kind of names we could all come up with together 🙂

  35. Thanks for sharing this story, Natanya. I’ll look forward to finding you at a new url!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you! I hope that you’ll enjoy what you find once it’s up and running.

  36. christygriner /

    good luck with the rebranding!

  37. Natanya Anderson /

    All I can say is “Wow”. Thank you to everyone for the amazing support and encouragement. I’m committed to responding to each and every comment, so if I haven’t gotten to yours yet, please be patient, I will. Once again, thank you so very much.

  38. At the very least, if you aren’t going to fight it, please post the name of the company and a copy of the C&D letter.

    That way, the community can fight it for you.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I think once I have my new domain I may be able to do that – checking with my legal eagle.

  39. elainthelab /

    i’m new to your Blog, but how about “Tanya’s Table”?

    You must have an active following for the Big Guys to take note, you go girl! Ela In The Lab

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Oooh, now I hadn’t thought about incorporating my name. That’s a great idea. Thank you for taking the time to visit and to provide such a great idea.

  40. Hadees /

    I know its hard but I say you should fight. It may be an uphill battle but if people don’t fight back these corporations will just continue to railroad over everyone. They need to learn that they can’t just step on people because they feel like it.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this very issue, because even though I’m taking the high road, in the end the brand gets what they want and is ultimately rewarded by their behavior. While I’ll probably stay with this course of action for this situation, I’m looking into ways we cay systemically make changes that make it easier for individuals and small companies to be on better footing with big brands in disputes like this.

  41. I just read that a company was trying to shut down this blog and checked it out for the first time. It’s amazing! All this crap just won you a loyal reader!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you. In the end I think that makes it worth it!

  42. Regan /

    But damn, how can we boycott this brand and scoff at the mention of their name if we don’t know who they are? 😉 They’re protected… you’re not. But they’re the Spanish Armada and you’re the British Navy…you’ll outmaneuver them.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      The great thing about everyone on this thread is that they are super-smart and have made some good guesses about the brand in question 🙂 I like being the British Navy – I can work with that.

  43. Dana Booth /

    I only recently discovered your blog, but have really enjoyed it. I was receiving news feed updates, but just signed up for e-mail updates to make sure you can send out your new site info when it’s up. I’ll also send out a tweet with your new url when you have it.

    Keep up the great attitude towards using this as an opportunity. btw, haven’t really seen anything I didn’t like on the blog. Sorry not much help on what to scratch and what to keep. I like it all! 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you for the very kind words. I’m so glad you like what you’ve seen – in the end that’s what I’m really here for. I appreciate your support.

  44. Erika /

    “A rose by any other name … ” I look forward to seeing what you come up with next, Natanya, and applaude you for moving forward and regrouping. They can keep their paranoia; you’re dynamic. This change heralds something great. : )

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. I love “dynamic” – that’s a huge compliment 🙂


  46. Matt /

    Love the poll up top! Not sure I’m keen on the choices, but I want to rein in my snark before throwing out suggestions. Otherwise it’d just be variations on “everyday” – i.e. “The Daily Foodie”, or bad puns (“Foodie Two Shoes”)…

  47. austinmamadrama /

    The Foodie Files
    Or Foodiephiles

  48. Stan /

    Maybe not ideal since the name doesn’t imply food, but it would give you some flexibility to talk about something else if you felt like it one day.

  49. @stan Why on earth would someone not want to talk about food everyday?! =)

    I like Fete and Feast. It connotes exactly what you like doing — entertaining and cooking. I’d stay away from titles with “foodie” in it. It seems like this is the opportunity to completely reinvent the blog, and I think (for me at least) I associate “foodie” with the origins of this incident.

    • Stan /

      Having the ability to talk about other things wouldn’t preclude her from talking about food every day.

  50. I’m of the opinion that, as a mega powerhouse in the industry, if they weren’t clever enough to buy every domain that resembles their name, it’s their own fault. How can they seriously own the phrase everyday foodie? How can they think they do?

    Your response is admirable, though, and I think in the long-run, you’ll be surprised how many good things come of it. Rebranding? Excellent! I’ve wished I could rename my site before, but I don’t have a force pushing me to do it, so I’m not going to. One tip I’d offer –> consider choosing a one-word title. This helps with keywording in search results, and it’s also good if you choose a food, say, that people may search for and find your blog, especially since they’d be the type of readers you’d look for – the ones who read about food online.

    Good luck!

  51. Hi Natanya,
    Way to turn a challenging situation into a great learning experience! I applaud you.
    Was thinking about new names for your blog — I really like Fete and Feast, especially since you focus on helping people eat and entertain. Here are a few more ideas:

    – Natanya’s Nibbles
    – Wine & Dine with Natanya
    – Noshing with Natanya
    – Delicious Snippets

    As many people have said before me, we’ll follow you wherever you go!

    Good luck,

  52. Natanya Anderson /

    Wow – such great fun names – makes me want to start a whole slew of blogs for each of the cool names. Today’s the day I pick and this weekend is the change over. Thanks so very much to everyone whose voted, made suggestions, and most importantly, offered support.

  53. Well, you’ve just gained another reader and the bully has just lost another customer. The good thing about this is…we the people make those big brands, by voting with our dollars…and we can just as easily decide to vote elsewhere. If this sort of nonsense ends up costing them enough, they will be forced to rethink their strategy.


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