After landing a huge investment from mogul Jay-Z, a Black-owned business has garnered more support from other stars. According to Forbes, Rihanna and H.E.R. have invested in Denise Woodard’s health-conscious brand Partake Foods.
The concept for the company was developed after Woodard struggled to find food options for her daughter who had several food allergies. Dedicated to ensuring that healthy options were affordable and accessible and determined to break barriers as a Black woman entrepreneur, Woodard left her corporate job at Coca-Cola and focused on building Partake Foods full-time. She launched a Kickstarter campaign to get her business off the ground and sold cookies from her car. She later received investments from an array of VC firms and angel investors that included Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital, The Factory, SoFi Venture, Chuck Muth and Jay-Z. The company announced it closed its Series A round with $4.8 million with new investors that include mogul Rihanna, songstress H.E.R., professional football player Bobby Wagner, the Black Star Fund, the venture capital firm Black Capital and other VC firms.
“With this group of strategic partners and added financing, Partake continues our mission of making super delicious and safe food that those with and without dietary restrictions can enjoy,” Woodard said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “The demand for thoughtfully-made cookies, snacks and treats is clear, and we are excited to continue to provide plant-based, safe, and crave worthy foods to consumers.” Partake Foods has been added to the shelves of national retailers including Whole Foods Market and Target.
Several celebrities are stepping up to invest in Black-owned businesses. Comedian Kevin Hart invested in the company Ellis Island Tea. The company—which is owned and operated by Nailah Ellis—produces an array of flavorful, all-natural handcrafted teas made with herbs. Ellis’ venture was inspired by her Jamaican heritage and her great-grandfather Cyril Byron’s recipes. Byron was the head chef of Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line fleet.