Building a Beloved Product and Brand
Founder and CEO of Partake Foods Denise Woodard Brand has built a fast-growing brand inspired by an idea that hit close to home – her daughter’s food allergies. Leveraging a decade of experience in CPGs at various Fortune 100 companies, Denise launched Partake – which was named #45 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list. In this engaging and information talk, Denise shares how brand goes beyond logo and packaging, offering insights about creating an inspiring experience at every touchpoint on the consumer journey.
Fostering Meaningful Diversity in Your Industry
Inspired by her own experience as a CEO and Founder, Denise Woodard has become a sought-after mentorship and leadership expert. With her fast-growing natural snacking brand Partake Foods, Denise became the first Black woman to raise $1M publicly for a CPG startup. She has gone on to serve as a founder-in-residence for Target’s Forward Founder’s program and founded Black Futures in Food & Beverage – a fellowship program for active HBCU students. Sharing her journey as well as actionable takeaways, Denise offers a unique perspective on fostering meaningful diversity in any industry, from mentorship, to team-building, and beyond.
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 9,000 retailers including Target, 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 $19M from investors including HER, Rihanna, Cleveland Ave, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners. Most recently, Partake was named #45 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list and Denise was included in their "100 Female Founders" list.
Prior to launching Partake, Denise spent a decade in consumer packaged goods at various Fortune 100 companies. She currently serves on the board of Naturally New York, the advisory board for the UNC Shuford Center for Entrepreneurship and on the WP Carey School of Business Dean’s Council. She has participated as a mentoring founder-in-residence for three cohorts of Target’s Forward Founder’s program supporting 30 founders in that time. She is the founder of Black Futures in Food & Beverage, a fellowship program that offers mentorship, internships and job opportunities within food & beverage for active HBCU students.
Denise 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.