Musical brand

Vegan Cookie Brand partners with Sesame Street to promote inclusivity

Vegan cookie brand Partake Foods is collaborating with Sesame Street to bring its new limited-edition cookie mixes to consumers in a fun way. Along with Elmo, Abby Cadabby and, of course, Cookie Monster, Partake unveils its first two vegan chocolate chip cookie mixes and birthday cake, its two most popular flavors.

The collaboration, which features characters from the beloved sesame street children’s show about the packaging of Partake’s cookie mix – was designed to champion inclusivity, a topic regularly discussed on sesame street over its 53-year history and a mission-critical vegan and allergen-friendly brand owned by a Black woman.

“Partake Foods is a champion of food inclusivity, a fighter against food insecurity, and a supporter of black and female entrepreneurship, whom we all admire and celebrate,” Gabriela Arenas, Senior Vice President of Global Product Licensing, Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street), said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with them on this latest Sesame Street offering, which brings families together around the pleasure of baking and hot treats.”

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Vegan cookies with a mission of inclusivity

Founded in 2016, Partake specializes in allergen-free cookies that founder (and former Coca-Cola executive) Denise Woodward created for her young daughter, Vivienne – who has been diagnosed with multiple food allergies – so she can share the joy of eating cookies.

“When my daughter Vivi was diagnosed with food allergies, I started Partake so she would have delicious snacks best for you to share that she and her friends without food allergies would enjoy,” Woodward said in a statement. . “When I think of brands that share this strong commitment to inclusivity, Sesame Street tops the list. I’m honored to create these limited-edition cookie mixes in partnership with a brand that has taught generations the importance friendship, kindness and sharing.

Sesame Street x Partake cookie mixes are available now from Partake’s website and are priced at $7.99 for a two-box pack (with four-box packs also available).

Jay-Z and Rhianna help Partake take off

What started as a mother’s mission to help her daughter enjoy cookies again took a big turn in 2019 when Partake closed a million dollar funding round led by Marcy Venture Partners (MVP) , a venture capital firm funded by hip hop legend Jay-Z, Jay Brown and Larry Marcus.

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While Woodward started the business in the first six months, selling cookies from his car, the capital raise helped get Partake off the ground and into 1,600 target locations nationwide. She also became the first woman of color to close a $1 million funding round for a consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand. “We got a lot of press around the MVP investment; in fact, the ad went viral,” Woodard told VegNews at the time. “It certainly helped increase our brand awareness and boost online sales. It also accelerated existing discussions with retailers.”

In 2021, Partake attracted the interest and investment of another big celebrity: Rihanna. Musical artist participated in Partake’s $4.8 million Series A funding round with existing investors including Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital and Bobby Wagner’s Black Star Fund of Seattle Seahawks. The new funding has helped Partake expand its distribution to other retailers such as Sprouts, The Fresh Market and Whole Foods Market, as well as develop new product lines.

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In addition to limited-edition Sesame Street baking mixes, Partake offers crispy, soft cookies in flavors like Ginger Snap, Cookie Butter, and Double Chocolate. It also offers pancake and waffle mixes, as well as baking mixes for pizza crust, blondies and brownies, all made with animal- and allergen-free ingredients that champion inclusivity.

To further its mission, Partake partners with organizations such as No Kid Hungry to provide allergen-free options for food-insecure children, especially black children. In 2020, Woodward also founded Black Futures in Food & Beverage, an annual scholarship program that mentors HBCU students and helps them find internships and jobs. “Being the first woman of color to raise $1 million for a CPG food startup is an accomplishment,” Woodward told VegNews in an interview, “but it comes with a great responsibility to grow the numbers and the quality career opportunities for black and brown people looking to build their career in the industry.

For more on black-owned vegan brands, read:
Black-owned vegan meat brand strikes $300,000 deal with Mark Cuban
15 Black-Owned Vegan Bakeries to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
The VegNews Guide to Black-Owned Vegan Businesses

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