We had the pleasure and privilege of sitting down with the Founder and CEO of Partake, Denise Woodard. Partake is a food company that offers a selection of delicious, allergy-friendly foods that those with and without food restrictions can enjoy and share with confidence.
Denise chatted about what led her to start one of the most popular inclusive food brands around, their unique affiliate strategy, and the incredible annual fellowship that Denise founded.
Partake is part of our Grow With Optimism program which aims to support underrepresented small businesses including, but not exclusive to, the Black, Asian Pacific, LGBTQ communities, to create space for new opportunities within the Rakuten ecosystem. We strive to provide insights from enterprising brands and organizations who are pushing the diversity and inclusion path forward as they share how they’ve created successful businesses, navigated obstacles in their path and fostered social connections that not only grow their business, but empower their communities.
So Denise… tell us about you.
I founded Partake in 2016 when my daughter was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. Frustrated by the lack of high-quality, great-tasting options, I left my corporate role and started Partake, selling cookies out of my car to local grocers in the NYC area. Fast forward to today, you can now find Partake cookies, pancake and waffle mixes, and baking mixes in 9,000+ retail stores nationwide, on a variety of e-tailers, and on partakefoods.com.
How long have you been in the affiliate space and what made you choose to partner with an affiliate platform?
Partake began affiliate programming in 2019 while preparing to go from regional to national distribution in-store. We wanted to better support our brand growth nationally on our DTC website, which affiliate allowed us to do.
What is unique about Partake and what sets you apart from others in your space?
Partake prioritizes and champions inclusivity in all we do as a company. From our delicious, allergy-friendly foods made with high-quality ingredients to our social change efforts, we are working to ensure everyone has the opportunity to share andenjoy great food together.
What are some core objectives for your affiliate marketing strategy and how does it contribute to your overall success?
Our affiliate strategy is multi-prong. We work with select cashback and incentive sites as strong revenue drivers for our e-commerce site, including partnering with Rakuten Advertising as a way to incentivize publishing houses and influencers to assist with brand awareness.
What strategies do you implement to create an inclusive and diverse community at work?
As a Black and Asian American woman, the challenges and opportunities of fostering diversity in the workplace is a lived experience for me. I built a women-led leadership team and prioritized from day one ensuring that the folks in our company represented all the people buying our products.
What’s unique about your business in today’s current climate of social good?
Partake lifts as we climb. We believe, even as a small business, we can make a big difference. In addition to prioritizing diversity in hiring, we give a portion of proceeds to fighting food insecurity in the US. In 2020, I founded Black Futures in Food & Beverage, an annual fellowship program that partners with HBCUs to provide resources, internships, and employment opportunities to active students interested in CPG food and beverage.
What are a few things you would want publishers to know about your program?
Our affiliate program offers a competitive revenue share percentage to be paired alongside new product launches, sale periods, and a compelling brand story to create a successful partnership.
What matters to you when you’re finding new publishers or partners?
It is important to us that publishers and partners align from a brand perspective. We want to ensure that we are speaking to our audience when working with a publisher.
To learn more about the Grow with Optimism program, contact us today!