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Overcoming Food Allergies with Denise Woodard

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“Two kids in every classroom in America have a life-threatening food allergy.”

Denise Woodard of Partake Foods

What can you eat if you have multiple food allergies?

For many Americans, the answer is “unfortunately, not very much.” When Denise Woodard found out her daughter had multiple serious food allergies, she was frustrated with the taste and nutritional profile of the snacks she could still eat. To solve this problem, she took matters into her own entrepreneurial hands and founded Partake Foods. Partake Foods’ makes cookies that are free of the top 8 allergens, made with simple, delicious whole food ingredients. We dig in to Denise’s journey with Partake, which started with her leaving her career at Coca-Cola to sell cookies out of her car and discuss her experiences as a woman of color in the natural foods industry. This episode is packed with learnings about allergies, starting a small business, balancing work and family, and overcoming adversity in your life.

Episode Show Notes:

  1. Learn more about Partake on their website and Instagram
  2. The CDC found that about 1 in 13 children, or about 2 in every classroom has a life-threatening food allergy.
  3. When pitching Partake Denise received 86 “no’s” from investors before securing funding.
  4. We discussed the stat that, according to Business Insider, only six of Americas 615 billionaires are Black.
  5. Denise is a fan of the Food Equality Initiative, which seeks to improve health and end hunger for people with food allergies
  6. Denise’s go-to karaoke song is “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé
  7. Denise admires Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. NPR featured Sara’s story in a fun episode of their podcast “How I Built This.”

If you enjoy this episode and want to hear from more inspiring food entrepreneurs, be sure to listen to our episode with the founder of Regrained or our episode with the founder of Down to Cook Foods.

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