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HomeFruitBlack-Owned Enterprise Highlight: 2 Should-Attempt Snack Manufacturers

Black-Owned Enterprise Highlight: 2 Should-Attempt Snack Manufacturers


When Denise Woodard began rising her allergy-friendly cookie firm, Partake Meals, she had nearly 10 years of expertise working at Coca-Cola. However, she stated, that meals trade information didn’t open many doorways for her Black-owned enterprise

“Ladies, significantly ladies of coloration, are under-funded, and since I had no connection to the enterprise capital world, I knocked on quite a lot of doorways [and] spent period of time sending LinkedIn messages to ask questions and request introductions,” Denise informed The FruitGuys through e mail. 

Denise didn’t surrender: She kick-started her enterprise in 2016, promoting cookies to New York Metropolis grocery shops from her automotive. The thought that her cookies may assist children with meals allergy symptoms — like her daughter, Vivienne — stored her going when issues acquired robust. 

Her footwork paid off: In 2018, the southwest area of Complete Meals Market began promoting Partake’s cookies. Right now, Partake affords allergy-friendly cookies, graham crackers, and breakfast mixes nationwide. 

The FruitGuys is that includes Partake and a fellow Black- and woman-owned model, Pipcorn, for Black Historical past Month in February 2024. Their snacks might be in each Considerate Snack Field, exposing them to 1000’s of latest eaters. They’ll even be accessible by the case for followers. 

Supporting Black-owned companies issues — not simply throughout Black Historical past Month, however every single day of the yr — as a result of it’s a easy however efficient approach to assist deal with a long-term disparity. 

The Black-Owned Enterprise Hole

In 2020, Black folks made up 14.2% of the U.S. inhabitants, however they solely accounted for 2.4% of all enterprise homeowners. The Brookings Institute reviews that if Black enterprise possession retains rising on the tempo it’s at this time, it may take greater than 250 years for these percentages to align.

Fortunately, the historic hole is closing. The variety of Black-owned companies within the U.S. jumped 13.64% from 2017 to 2020. General enterprise progress throughout that point was a lot slower, measuring simply .53%. 

By celebrating Partake and Pipcorn, The FruitGuys hopes to assist each companies proceed rising. Every firm has a novel mission and entrepreneurial story. Right here’s a fast take a look at what makes these two Black-owned companies so particular. 

Partake: Feeding Each Hungry Little one

As you’ve already learn, Denise Woodard based Partake together with her then 1-year-old daughter in thoughts. Vivienne is allergic to nuts, eggs, bananas, and corn, which makes all the things from birthday events to airport journeys a supply of stress for her and her mother. 

Photo: Partake founder with her daughterPhoto: Partake founder with her daughter
Denise and her daughter, Vivienne.

“Vivi was my first little one, Partake was like my second,” Denise stated, including that her daughter is now 8 years previous. “I’m so pleased with what she’s been capable of be part of. Not solely has she witnessed her mother develop an concept right into a beloved model, however she’s seen that when you may have a terrific concept that meets an actual want, you’re employed laborious and with integrity, and also you encompass your self with nice folks, then great issues can occur.”

Partake’s cookies appear like some other grab-and-go grocery retailer deal with — however they’re removed from bizarre. Each field is licensed gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Orthodox Union Kosher, and free from the highest 9 allergens. Their flavors vary from classics like Crunchy Chocolate Chip (Denise’s favourite) to seasonal delights like Comfortable-Baked Chocolate Peppermint. 

That stated, Partake is about way more than cookies. The corporate is a Licensed B Corp that believes in “radical inclusivity,” which Denise defines as “pushing for transformative adjustments that create a really equitable and accessible society.” 

A part of that mission is combating meals insecurity. Denise is each Black and Asian-American, and she or he’s keen about feeding each hungry little one, whether or not they’re fighting allergy symptoms or financial disadvantages. 

About 1 in each 17 American youngsters has a recognized meals allergy and nearly 1 in 5 youngsters reside in food-insecure households. If you break these statistics down by race, Black youngsters are the most certainly to have a meals allergy and/or reside with both low or very low meals safety. Partake companions with organizations like #HashtagLunchbag, Eat. Be taught. Play., and The Birthday Celebration Challenge to offer meals and sources to food-insecure children and households.

Pipcorn: Tiny Corn Does Mighty Good

Pipcorn is a Black-owned enterprise on a mission to assist heirloom crops and sustainable agriculture. The additional crunch and daring taste in Pipcorn’s snacks (together with miniature popcorn, cheese balls, “crunchies,” and twists) come from heirloom corn, which produces tiny chompable kernels. 

Founders of the Black-owned business PipcornFounders of the Black-owned business Pipcorn
Left to proper: Pipcorn founders Teresa, Jen, and Jeff.

Two of Pipcorn’s co-founders, Jen and Jeff Martin, found the corn in 2012 when Jen introduced some residence from the Chicago well being meals retailer the place she labored. On the finish of a protracted day of packing for a transfer, the siblings popped the corn and fell head-over-heels in love with it. They ultimately tracked it again to its supply — an Indiana farmer with a stash of heirloom seeds — and based Pipcorn to share it with the world. 

Jen and Jeff teamed up with Jeff’s spouse, Teresa Tsou, to create a thriving Black-, AAPI-, and LGBTQ-owned firm that prioritizes sustainability. Greater than a decade later, Pipcorn nonetheless sources eco-friendly, open-pollinated heirloom corn from household farmers. 

Photo: Pipcorn productsPhoto: Pipcorn products“Open pollination is vital as a result of it retains our crops genetically various,” the Pipcorn workforce explains on their web site. “Over many generations, open-pollinated seeds adapt to native climates and rising situations, strengthening the resiliency of the genetic line. Rising open-pollinated vegetation additionally retains us from dropping distinctive varieties ­­— like our mini heirloom popcorn! — at a time when our agricultural biodiversity is shrinking.”

On prime of their environmental advantages, Pipcorn’s heirloom corn packs extra fiber and antioxidants than typical corn right into a smaller package deal. The corporate’s snacks are non-GMO, gluten-free, and bought in enjoyable flavors like white cheddar and cinnamon sugar. 

Black Entrepreneurs Pay It Ahead

Along with combating meals insecurity, preserving heirlooms, and pushing for a extra sustainable future, Pipcorn and Partake additionally pay their success ahead by giving fellow Black entrepreneurs a leg up. 

Every month, Pipcorn spotlights a distinct Black enterprise proprietor on its weblog and social media pages “to amplify consciousness for Black-founded manufacturers.” They’ve featured Delisa and Zach Harper of Funky Mello, Ibraheem Basir of A Dozen Cousins, Lilian Umurungi-Jung of MUMGRY, and extra.

In the meantime, Partake launched an annual fellowship program known as Black Futures Fellowship to additional the careers of lively traditionally Black school or college (HBCU) college students.

“I based Black Futures Fellowship, now a 501(c)(3), in 2020 once I was constructing out the Partake workforce and located the applicant pool lacked range,” Denise stated. “Considering again to my very own profession, to this point, I noticed that in lots of rooms I used to be typically the one girl — significantly the one girl of coloration.”

Denise had a breakthrough thought: “If I can educate, encourage, and provides college students the alternatives in CPG (shopper packaged items) meals and beverage, maybe over time the variety of the trade can extra immediately signify the folks it serves.” 

Black Futures Fellowship matches lively HBCU college students with paid internships at CPG meals and beverage firms, and up to now, they’ve positioned 20 fellows.

How You Can Have a good time Black Historical past Month

You may assist Pipcorn and Partake by attempting their scrumptious merchandise. Have a good time Black Historical past Month this February with their mouth-watering cookies, graham crackers, cheese balls, and cinnamon twists!

In the event you already get The FruitGuys’ Considerate Snack Bins, preserve a watch out for Pipcorn and/or Partake’s merchandise in your containers every week of February 2024. You can too buy their merchandise by the case to point out your assist.

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