Black-Owned Vegan Cookie Brand Secures $1 Million Investment From Jay-Z’s Venture Fund

Denise Woodard, founder of Partake Foods

Partake Foods, a Black-owned company that makes health-conscious and allergy-friendly food products, has recently secured a $1 million investment from Marcy Venture Partners, which is co-founded by fellow Black entrepreneur Jay-Z.
Denise Woodard, the company’s CEO and founder, started making healthy cookies when they found it hard to look for snacks that are both safe and tasty for her young daughter who was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.

When she realized that there is a market for her products, not only for allergy-prone consumers but also for those who are looking for gluten-free, vegan, and healthy foods, she left her position as the director of national sales at Coca-Cola in their Venturing & Emerging Brands division and she focused in launching the business.

“When I left my career at Coca-Cola in 2017, I literally sold cookies out of my car for six months, demoing every day and meeting store managers and customers,” Woodard said in a statement.

At first, she started funding her business through Kickstarter. Then she joined the round of funding from Marcy Venture Partners, the consumer-focused VC fund co-founded by Jay-Z, Jay Brown, and Larry Marcus. Eventually, other investors came including The Factory, Backstage Capital, SoFi Venture, and Chuck Muth, who is an executive in the meat alternative company, Beyond Meat.

Marcy Venture Partners particularly aims to support game-changing businesses and mass-market brands across consumer products and services. Partake Foods has proven to be a perfect fit for what they are looking for.

“Partake has the ingredients to build a mass market brand: compelling values, a great tasting product, and a tenacious and experienced operator. We are honored to back Denise and the team and help grow their business,” said Larry Marcus, Marcy Venture Partners co-founder and managing director.

The $1 million fund from MVP will be used to grow the Partake team, in which Woodard is the only full-time employee now. They also hope to add new pack size and further increase their growing targeted markets across the United States.

“Our products can now be found in over 300 stores, and we expect to finish this year with a new pack offering and in over 1,000 stores. We are so excited to collaborate with the MVP and Factory teams, as they both bring a wealth of knowledge in brand building and scaling consumer companies.”

For more information about Partake Foods, visit www.partakefoods.com

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