Partake Foods — an allergy-friendly cookie company — closed a $1 million funding round this week led by Marcy Ventures, Jay-Z’s venture capital firm.
The New Jersey-based company launched in 2016 after its founder, Denise Woodard, needed to find snacks for her daughter who’d just been diagnosed with a list of common food allergies.
Woodard developed a recipe for cookies that excluded wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish. The company has five cookie flavors ranging from double chocolate chip to carrot oat. Each box costs $4.99 in retail stores and two boxes cost $14.99 on Amazon.
The cookies are currently carried in Whole Foods, Wegmans, and over 300 other specialty grocery stores. Partake Foods plans to expand to at least 1,000 more stores by the end of the year.
Marcy Ventures invested in another food-focused startup early this year. The firm provided $8 million in funding to Arlington, Va.-based food-tech company, Hungry Marketplace, for its Series A funding round.
“Partake has the ingredients to build a mass market brand: compelling values, a great tasting product, and a tenacious and experienced operator,” Marcy Venture Partners Co-Founder and Managing Director, Larry Marcus, said in a statement. “We are honored to back Denise and the team and help grow their business.”
This week Jay-Z made news as hip-hop’s first billionaire. It’s good to see him using his money and influence to pour back into entrepreneurs of color. The food industry is worth about $4 trillion dollars and some economists estimate that it makes about 10 percent of GDP, according to Forbes. Partake getting this investment from Jay-Z now puts it in a prime position to be competitive moving forward.
This story originally published on June 7, 2019.