Denise Woodard

@partakefoods

 

I'm Denise, the Founder and CEO of Partake. What matters most to me is making delicious food with simple ingredients that nearly everyone can enjoy safely—and using the success and platform of our business to advance underrepresented and overlooked communities, businesses, and groups of people. 

 

How does it feel to be a Black creator?

Being a Black entrepreneur feels like an enormous privilege and responsibility. I'm a strong believer in "To whom much is given, much is required."

 

What has brought you joy this year?

Professionally, there were a few joyous highlights to 2020. Notably, we launched our Black Futures in Food & Beverage Fellowship Program—an 8-week program for HBCU students interested in working in CPG food & beverage. We are already getting excited to begin that work again in 2021. 


Personally, spending more time with my family at home required us to get creative. Prior to COVID, we were a family constantly on the go—we love travel! The joys of discovering new traditions and reconnecting with nature have been a bright spot in the last year.

 

My Black joy is       ?

Abundant

 

What does Black joy mean to you?

Black joy means to me resilience and celebrating the simple, most important things—health, family, and helping others. The Black community has faced obstacle after obstacle, yet we still find a way to persevere and find joy. 

 

       feeds my soul.


Family

 

How does togetherness feed your soul?

Togetherness really feeds my soul. After taking moments to put down the everyday burdens by relaxing, breaking bread and laughing with friends and family, I always come away feeling inspired and recharged. 

 

How have you stayed motivated to overcome challenges?

I stay motivated by focusing on why I started Partake, thinking about how much progress we've made, and how much impact that's allowed us to make.


When challenged, I ask for help from my team, my friends and family and remember that "Everything is temporary. Anything is possible."

 

Do you have a special take on a favorite comfort food?

Sweet Potato Pie: I make it dairy-free and vegan by using coconut milk, and I make the crust using our cookies. 

 

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from wanting to create the world I want my daughter to live in—and to show her that the sky is the limit. 

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