Black female founded snack brand aims for the stars with major cash boost from multi Grammy Award winner Rihanna
To date, more than 50% of Partake Foods’ total $7.5 million in funding has come from big names in the music industry, including Jay-Z’s VC fund, Marcy Venture Partners, and another Grammy Award-winner, H.E.R.
Partake was founded by Denise Woodard to create suitable snacks for her young daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. More than one in 13 American kids are allergic to one of the top 8 allergens (wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish), according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), with Black children being at a significantly higher risk.
Partake is currently the only cookie company on the market to be certified Glyphosate Residue-Free. Its products are also gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and free of the top 8 allergens.
Woodard – the first woman of colour to raise $1m for a food startup – is not only focused on creating snacks to address a gap in the market, but also to get nutritious treats into the hands of food insecure families. As an inclusive, BIPOC-owned brand, Partake has partnered with the Food Equality Initiative to ensure families in need have access to the food, education and advocacy they deserve.
Woodard plans to use new funding to expand her team, marketing efforts, product line and distribution. The brand launched with three crunchy cookie variants and has subsequently added another five flavours, along with a soft-baked cookie line and a 5-in-1 Baking Mix. Products can be found in 2,700 stores across the US, and the company plans to double its retail footprint by the end of Q1 2021.
“With this group of strategic partners and added financing, Partake [will] continue its mission of making super delicious and safe food that those with and without dietary restrictions can enjoy,” said Woodard.
“The demand for thoughtfully-made cookies, snacks and treats is clear, and we are excited to continue to provide plant-based, safe, and crave worthy foods to consumers.”
Other investors in the latest round include Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, Black Star Fund, FF2032, Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker and CircleUp Growth Partners. Chuck Muth, chief growth officer of Beyond Meat and a current investor, will be joining Partake’s board, along with Aditi Dash, partner at CircleUp.
“We believe that Partake is building a platform for better-for-you snacking,” said Dash.
“Our conviction in the brand is strengthened by data – Partake’s offline and online performance are best-in-class for the category, and we are excited to support Denise’s vision as she builds Partake into a household name.”
Partake products are currently available from Target, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and The Fresh Market.