Name: Denise Woodard
Business: Partake Foods
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Specialty: Allergy friendly kids' snacks
The problem your business solves: Providing convenient, better-for-you, allergy-friendly options for kids that taste good. One in 13 Children in the U.S. has a food allergy, and that number is expected to grow to one in 10 by 2020 (and is up 50% since the 90's).
What makes your business unique: We are one of the very few Top 8 Allergen Free (top 8 allergens account for 90% of food allergies) companies that cater to children. Our products are made with sprouted ancient grain flours, real fruits/veggies, and are Non GMO Project Verified.
How you got your start: My daughter, Vivienne, is almost two, and shortly after her first birthday, we learned that she has several food allergies. When I could not find convenient, healthy snack options that met her dietary restrictions, I set out to create my own!
One piece of advice you have for other food entrepreneurs: Talk to other entrepreneurs! There's so many people in this community who are willing to provide guidance, share contacts, and just listen. Other food entrepreneurs have been an invaluable resource for me.
What you wish you had known before you started your business: Focus on what you do best, and get help where you can. Initially, I was attempting to do everything myself, but I've learned to focus heavily on my strengths and seek help, whether in the form of a consultant or another entrepreneur who can provide insight, on the areas where I am not as strong.
Your greatest challenge in your business and how you’re overcoming it: Manufacturing. There's a very small number of facilities in the US that are allergy friendly. We were able to find a contract manufacturer in Idaho that has a top 8 allergen free facility, and we plan to work with them.
What you’re most proud of about your business: How much progress we've made in such a short time. Partake was just an idea in June 2016, and by this April, we will be ready to launch at retail.
What you love most about being a food entrepreneur: Getting to create a brand that I know will not only solve a problem for my family, but for millions of other families in the United States.
To learn more about Denise and Partake Foods, visit partakefoods.com.
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