Moms are always trying to solve problems, especially when it comes to helping your own children, so when Denise Woodard’s daughter Vivienne was diagnosed with a laundry list of food allergies it inspired her to take an entrepreneurial route she never imagined!
Denise Woodard is the Founder/CEO of Partake Foods, an allergy-friendly snack company that she was inspired to start because of her daughter Vivienne’s experience with food allergies.
With so little options in the market for delicious healthy allergy-friendly snacks for kids, Denise, who had a background working in emerging brands for Coca-Cola and a scrappy entrepreneurial spirit decided, why not make a product for her daughter herself.
After many cookie iterations, lots of LinkedIn stalking and a little luck, that vision has turned into a multi-million dollar allergy-friendly food company that will be in 5,500 stores by the end of 2021. On top of that success, Denise is the first woman of color to raise over $1 million for a food startup which includes a $4.8 million series A funding round in December 2020, led by investors including Rihanna and Marcy Venture Partners, Jay-Z’s firm who led the initial $1MM seed round.
I love how Denise not only took a real problem in her own family but also created a company that strongly believes in a greater social mission and is giving more women and people of color the opportunity to “partake” at the table too. But besides building a company and being a role model for other women of color, Denise is an incredible mom and shares insights into how she was able to build this company, raise capital and make it happen while raising her daughter.