Jess Gaedeke, CRO of GutCheck, a former Leader at Nielsen, speaks with Denise Woodard, the founder and CEO of Partake Foods. In this episode, Denise talks all about the non-glamorous side of starting a business, about being the first black woman to raise $1M for a food and beverage company, and the steps she’s taking to ensure the door is help open for other people of color who are interested in the food and beverage industry.
Denise is the Founder and CEO of Partake Foods, a natural food company that was inspired by her daughter’s experience with food allergies. Launched in 2017, Partake’s first product — delicious, better for you, allergy-friendly cookies — can now be found in more than 8,000 retailers including Target, Trader Joe's, Kroger, and Whole Foods Market.
In 2021, Partake released a line of Baking Mixes—Brownie Mix, Blondie Mix, and a Pizza Crust Baking Mix—all available on partakefoods.com. In January 2022, Partake introduced Pancake & Waffle Mixes in Classic & Confetti flavors available at select Target stores nationwide.
Denise is the first Black woman to raise more than $1 Million publicly for a CPG food startup. To date, the company has raised over $7.5M from investors including HER, Rihanna, CircleUp Growth Partners, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners.
Prior to launching Partake, Denise spent a decade in consumer packaged goods at various Fortune 100 companies, most recently as the Director of National Sales for Coca-Cola's Venturing & Emerging Brands division. She lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy, and daughter, Vivienne. She graduated with her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Arizona State University.
To learn more about what it means to be gutsy, check out the Gutsiest Brands webpage.
Check out Denise’s recommended song, and songs picked by our previous guests, by visiting the Spotify – Gutsiest Brands Podcast Playlist. Be sure to like, follow and share!
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