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Through G.I.F.T. Partnership, Husch Blackwell Provides Pro Bono Legal Support to Black-OwnedBusinesses, like Ruby Jean's Juicery, LLC

Kansas City, MO

Client Overview

Kansas City based Ruby Jean’s Juicery, LLC, is one example that Husch Blackwell’s Communities for Change initiative is paying dividends for both the company and the community. Owner Chris Goode founded Ruby Jean’s, named for his late grandmother, to provide healthy beverages and snacks in an all-inclusive environment. Ruby Jean’s came to Husch Blackwell as a pro bono client by way of our partnership with Generating Income for Tomorrow (G.I.F.T.). G.I.F.T. aims to create economic prosperity for Kansas City’s African American community by providing grants to Black-owned businesses, specifically those in low-income areas. Grant recipients are then connected with business, accounting, marketing and legal professionals to support their growth. After Ruby Jean’s received G.I.F.T.’s first $10,000 grant in 2020, Quinncy McNeal, Husch Blackwell Pro Bono Counsel, began facilitating the juicery’s legal needs.

Husch Blackwell's impact

Through Communities for Change, Husch Blackwell attorneys have assisted Ruby Jean’s with a number of matters, including lease and contract review, corporate restructuring, intellectual property protection and advice on future growth through franchising. Not only has Ruby Jean’s increased its revenue by 75%-100% since Husch Blackwell’s representation began, but it has purchased the building it leased for years, expanded to a new location in a new state, and enhanced its partnership with a large national grocer—all with Husch Blackwell’s counsel. Husch Blackwell legal professionals who have worked on Ruby Jean’s matters include Edward WilsonChris KlineChristopher PetersonMax EllenbeckerWill NultonAndrew GrangerTammy Eddings and Olivia Miller.

Kansas City Junior Achievement Innovator Award

Ruby Jean’s founder Chris Goode will be awarded the Kansas City Junior Achievement Innovator Award in fall 2022. The award is presented to those that positively disrupt their industries, create jobs and opportunities and apply innovation to solve critical social and economic problems.

“To be recognized by Junior Achievement as the innovator of the year, an organization pouring into the lives of young people, is simply a top honor,” Goode says, “My heart is also inclined to uplift young people and I see synergy in our work. Junior Achievement is actively making kids more well-rounded and more informed for real-world scenarios and I am extremely grateful for their recognition! Thank you to the Husch Blackwell team!”

About HB Communities for Change

Since November 2020, Husch Blackwell has provided pro bono legal counsel to numerous minority-owned businesses that would otherwise not have access, including several Kansas City Black-owned businesses through our partnership with Generating Income for Tomorrow. Through this work, the firm helps entrepreneurs realize their goals, which positively impacts their communities in the process – a ripple effect that transforms lives.

Apply for assistance through the firm’s Communities for Change program.

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