Jessica Greer ’20, Angela Chester-Johnson, Marie Claire O’Leary ‘19
L-R, Jessica Greer ’20, Angela Chester-Johnson, and Marie Claire O’Leary ‘19, at Plum Good's Arena Stand

CEDLC Students champion small businesses

During spring 2019, Community and Economic Development Law Clinic (CEDLC) student attorneys Jessica Greer ’20 and Marie Claire O’Leary ‘19 worked with Plum Good LLC, a minority, female-owned business located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. Angela Chester-Johnson, a local entrepreneur, started Plum Good at a downtown DC farmers market years ago. Ms. Chester-Johnson grew her business and eventually became a Certified Business Enterprise (CBE), receiving support from small business champions like the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation and business incubator programs sponsored by organizations such as Dreaming Out Loud. Greer and O’Leary enjoyed the unique chance to work with these supporting organizations to provide full business and legal services for their client.

The opportunity to work with Ms. Chester-Johnson on contractual issues facing her business came to the CEDLC through its partnership with Dreaming Out Loud. The students helped Ms. Chester-Johnson to negotiate a contract with a large food vendor to open a stand at the new Sports & Entertainment Arena in Southeast DC. Greer and O’Leary were able to assist in Plum Good's expansion by helping Ms. Chester-Johnson get the best deal for her business. They worked with her to carefully edit and revise terms throughout the contract negotiation process.

Plum Good is now a lively Arena stand selling classic fare, from chicken wings to bacon cheese fries. Plum Good’s specialty is all in the details, particularly its proprietary hot sauces and seasonings, which flavor everything sold at the stand. Greer and O’Leary attended a Washington Go-Gos basketball game (part of the NBA G League), where they particularly enjoyed sampling Hot Pops, Plum Good’s flavored popcorn that comes in inventive flavors like Sriracha Crunch and Jalapeno Cheddar.

Moving forward, the CEDLC has partnered with WCL's IP Clinic to advise Plum Good on intellectual property issues. The faculty and students of the CEDLC look forward to continuing the clinic’s working relationship with Plum Good and Dreaming Out Loud.