FLORISSANT, Mo. – Kitt Vilasis-Corbin is the owner and executive pastry chef of La Patisserie, a cake and pastry shop located in Florissant. She’s been in business for five years but recently experienced a not so sweet surprise.
“There’s a lot of voice messages saying they never got their order or they want a refund, they’re not happy with the order, so I figured maybe it’s a wrong number or they thought it was a different pastry shop,” Vilasis-Corbin said.
A customer called and said she wanted a refund for her online order. She informed her that they weren’t taking any online orders and had been closed for nearly six weeks.
“I said, ‘Where did you order it’ and she said Grubhub,” Vilasis-Corbin said.
After upset calls and emails during their winter break period where they only took custom orders, she realized something was wrong. Some people called and complained and said they never received their items, or that their items they did receive weren’t good.
Vilasis-Corbin said Grubhub contained La Patisserie’s logo, but it was connected to a different menu, different address and contained spelling errors. She said about 80 percent of the items on the menu, she doesn’t make. She also said the site had an option to pickup for Saturday’s only, which aren’t her pastry shop hours.
“You take pride in your work and when somebody claims you did something but you didn’t and then they complain, it’s a big deal for us because we worked hard to establish ourselves,” she said. “I do understand people are upset but I can’t give back your money for something I didn’t make.”
She said whoever is impersonating her business is either not making the items, not showing up, or asking them to meet in a parking lot to exchange the items.
“What scares me is where did they prep that, how was it prepared?” she added.
Local Communications Specialist and CEO of Golden Services Group Julia Eudy said they have seen a rise in scams targeting small businesses, especially during COVID. She said small businesses have a right to request their information be removed from third-party services, such as Grubhub.
Eudy also said it is important to check on your own small business’ online presence.
“On a monthly basis to just someone go out a little checklist go out, take a look at what things that they have out there, be aware of where their business is located and take inventory of it, is it current,” Eudy said.
The pastry shop was no longer listed on Grubhub as of Monday evening.
A Grubhub spokesperson responded to FOX 2’s inquiry with the following statement:
“Grubhub places restaurants on our platform to offer diners variety and to increase the volume of orders for the restaurants. Restaurant owners can request removal by reaching out to us at email@example.com, and La Patisserie is no longer on our platform.”