Sea vegetable firm draws suit

A Sequim company touted as being on the cutting edge of energy and food production technology and awarded a $5,000 entrepreneur grant in May is being sued for breach of contract.

According to court records filed Sept. 14, Jeffrey Baldwin and Pacific Sea Vegetables Inc., is suing Timothy T. Visi, Umami Sea Vegetables, LLC.

The lawsuit says Baldwin was a shareholder in Pacific Sea Vegetables Inc., when he and Mike Magrath were contacted in spring 2008 by Visi, an old acquaintance, about financing a new business venture.

It says Baldwin loaned Visi's business $87,566 between early May and late August 2008. He also loaned $25,000 for the partner's business and living expenses, including renting a house, the lawsuit states.

In May 2008, Visi incorporated Pacific Sea Vegetables, Inc., with the state Secretary of State's Office and identified the three as the initial board of directors.

Then in January 2009, Visi formed Umami Sea Vegetables, LLC, and transferred the property and assets of Pacific Sea Vegetables, Inc., to the new company, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit charges breach of contract for failure to repay the $112,000 and seeks return of the money, damages and court costs.

In May 2009, Visi won the Entrepreneurial Challenge and a $5,000 grant for his Umami Sea Vegetables company at the Incubator @ Lincoln Center in Port Angeles.

The company grows sea vegetables in 14 tanks of filtered and sterilized seawater from the Strait of Juan de Fuca sited on Sequim Bay. He hopes eventually to grow fuel-quality algae.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@

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