In 2016, Denise Woodard found herself disappointed by the lack of delicious, allergen-friendly snack options in her local grocery store. Her daughter Vivienne had just been diagnosed with multiple food allergies, and Woodard noticed how difficult it was to access safe treats for her. Woodard turned that frustration into Partake: “I left my corporate job determined to create tasty, allergy-friendly treats that everyone could enjoy—not just those with dietary restrictions.”
Woodard sold cookies store-by-store out of her car, cleared out her 401k, and, ultimately, sold her engagement ring to bootstrap Partake. Her investment paid off—you can now find Partake products in 9,000+ stores nationwide and across New York City, including at Target, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes.
When stocking her own pantry, Woodard takes pride in supporting other small, family-owned businesses. She explains, “as a small business owner who started my company for my daughter, it’s important to me to support small businesses—particularly women and minority-owned companies like Partake.” Woodard steers clear of heavily processed foods, instead choosing products made with ingredients she recognizes.
Denise Woodard’s 5 Essentials:
Brightland Alive Olive Oil
I love all of Brightland’s products, but I use the Alive olive oil on salads, with freshly baked bread, and to toss my favorite veggies in before roasting.
Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp
This is great on everything! My favorite ways to use this delicious topping is on dumplings, over-easy eggs, or a bowl of noodles.
A Dozen Cousins Cuban Black Beans
I love how easy and quick the preparation is for these; they’re a great side or main dish and made with super simple ingredients
Maldon Sea Salt
A dash of this makes everything better—whether it’s fresh baked brownies or a savory dinner dish.
Lundberg Farms Organic Sushi Rice
My mom is Korean and growing up, we ate rice at nearly every meal. I still love it, whether I’m making homemade sushi rolls with my daughter, Vivienne, or looking for a quick side.