Pure Food and Wine, the now-defunct vegan eatery, hit the New York food scene at just the right moment.
It first opened in 2004, when the concept of raw vegan food was a bit novel to spark interest. Hidden in the basement of an apartment located in the Gramercy neighborhood, just a few blocks to the east of Union Square, it became one of the first eateries completely raw.
Since its beginning it garnered attention getting interest of food journalists.
Who is Michael Caledonia?
In July, 2014 the restaurant of Sarma, Pure Food and Wine was the subject of controversy after employees were not paid their wages, which led to the employees being fired from the company.
But, Sarma got investors involved and raised funds to avoid a catastrophe. When the restaurant opened, Sarma called Jeffrey Chodorow, an investor in the restaurant, to discuss the possibility of a buyer.
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In the program, Sarma said that his name was Michael Caledonia, and she was able to have him examined by friends she worked with at her former employer, Bain Capital.
She explained to Jeffrey that Michael was planning to purchase the company and then pay all investors. Then, Jeffrey spoke with Michael via phone and at the moment, it wasn’t to be too suspicious.
Michael informed Jeffrey that the cash came in from Europe and that his investors wanted to preserve their privacy.
Things started to turn somewhat bizarre from this point on. Jeffrey and Michael scheduled a meeting at an establishment within New York at around 5:30 one night however, Michael didn’t show. Within 45 minutes Michael claimed to have missed his flight to Boston.
The show also revealed that Jeffrey claimed that Michael was absent from a second meeting. After some time, Sarma called Jeffrey when Michael is at Miami, Florida, and hoped to schedule another meeting with Michael. She said that this time she’d be there as well.
But, Michael couldn’t make the meeting again, declaring he had missed a flight. This makes three times that he has did not get to meet with Jeffrey.
Was Michael Caledonia Going to Buy Pure Food and Wine?
Michael Caledonia never met with Jeffrey. It was Sarma who met Jeffrey in Miami. Later, it was discovered that Anthony used Michael Caledonia as his identity.
Michael Caledonia with the investors. In addition, it was revealed during the episode that Sarma was aware of it and was lying to Jeffrey about Michael’s real identity.
She did not mention her marriage status to Anthony or said that Michael and Anthony were the identical. Sarma said she didn’t consider it a big issue since Anthony would always buy everyone out but the buyout did not happen.
Jeffrey stated during the program that he was cheated by Sarma which was hard since she was a family member to him.