Deliciously Ella founders buy out ALL of their investors

And the new owners are… US! Deliciously Ella founders Ella and Matthew Mills reveal they’ve made ‘daunting’ decision to buy out ALL of their investors so they can make the plant-based brand a ‘family business’

  • Ella Mills, 30, founder of the Deliciously Ella brand, has revealed she’s bought out the company’s shareholders with husband Matthew 
  • In a long post on Instagram, Mills said the prospect of borrowing money from the bank to buy back full control of the brand had been ‘daunting’
  • Couple, who have two young daughters, opened vegan diner Plants in June
  • They had closed their deli on the same spot in March 2020 due to pandemic 

Ella and Matthew Mills, the couple behind plant-based brand Deliciously Ella, have revealed they’ve bought out all of the company’s shareholders.

The husband and wife, who’ve successfully built the brand since Ella Mills started it nine years ago, said buying out investors to make the company a ‘family business’ had been both an ‘extraordinarily emotional moment’ and a ‘daunting’ one. 

The couple, who have two young daughters, Skye, two, and May, nine months, opened a vegan restaurant in Mayfair in June, 15 months after the brand’s deli was forced to close in the same spot because of the impact of the pandemic.

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Ella and Matthew Mills told Deliciously Ella’s 2 million followers on Instagram that they’ve bought out the company’s shareholders in a bid to make the brand a ‘family business’

The couple, who share two young daughters, opened Plants, a vegan restaurant in central London on 16th June. Their eponymous deli on the same sight had been forced to close due to the pandemic

Marking the moment the couple decided to take on full ownership of the brand, Ella told her two million followers on Instagram: ‘Today we bought our investors out of our company, which means that as of a few minutes ago, Deliciously Ella became a fully owned family company again.  

In a lengthy Instagram post, she added: ‘It’s an extraordinarily emotional moment for us both. This company is truly our heart and soul – I’ve poured everything I have in to it since starting it nine years ago, and it has been Matthew’s life since he quit his job and we started our products business, app and restaurant over the past six years.’  

The couple said the decision to buy out investors had been ‘daunting’, saying: ‘raising money from our bank to make it happen comes with a lot of personal risk, but we believe with every fibre of our being that this is the right step for us all.’ 

She praised husband Matthew for his ‘fearless thinking and dedication to our mission has made this transaction happen today.’ 

The daughter of former Labour minister Shaun Woodward and supermarket heiress Camilla Sainsbury shut up shop at her Mayfair delicatessen, called Deliciously Ella, blaming the coronavirus crisis in March 2020. 

Ella praised her husband – Baroness Tessa Jowell’s son Matthew Mills, CEO of Deliciously Ella, for being ‘fearless’ in making the brand their own again. (Pictured in 2018 at the Royal Albert Hall)

What’s on the menu at Deliciously Ella’s restaurant Plants?

small plates

grilled sourdough flatbread with cultured house butter

asparagus ceviche kimchi tiger’s milk, burnt orange, fennel, orange oil

spicy mole empanadas with cashew & herb crème fraiche

salt baked celeriac carpaccio truffle vinaigrette, roasted walnut parmesan

grilled spiced carrots with romesco & coconut labneh

king oyster mushroom scallops parsnip puree, carrot jelly, parsnip bacon

seared polenta red pepper emulsion, cauliflower puree, crispy artichoke hearts

aubergine with a candied nut crust, pistachio cream, yellow curry sauce

 larger plates    

rainbow bowl brown rice, avocado, pulled jackfruit, purple sprouting broccoli

seared baby gem caesar salad sourdough croutons, aubergine bacon

cauliflower schnitzel with a caper & shallot salsa, kohlrabi slaw

summer spaghetti seasonal vegetables

wild nettle risotto sautéed peas, broad beans, watercress, crispy shallots

trio of sliders bean & kimchi, jackfruit & spicy avocado, crispy tofu & siracha

 

 

The menu at newly-opened Plants includes dishes such as pan-fried oyster mushroom scallops with carrot jelly, asparagus ceviche, cauliflower schnitzel and vegan pancakes with dark chocolate sauce. 

Everything is made in house, including cultured vegan butter, cashew crème fraîche, and crushed walnut parmesan.

Posting on Instagram in May, Ella explained how her husband – Baroness Tessa Jowell’s son Matthew Mills, ‘took a big leap’ by becoming CEO of Deliciously Ella and that it had ‘always been their dream’ to open up a restaurant.

The heiress wrote: ‘Within weeks of dating, Matt and I started talking about working together. 

‘Matt took a leap of faith, quitting his job to become the CEO of deliciously ella, and we began to turn my recipe website and cookbook into a proper family business. 

‘When we first starting thinking about what we could do, our dream was to open a restaurant. 

‘At the time, central London restaurant rents were too expensive for us, so we opened a small deli instead. 

‘Our deli on Weighhouse Street has been a home for us, but we’ve always felt it could be so much better if we could do more of a restaurant experience. 

‘We’ve been closed for most of the last fifteen months and have spent a lot of that time reflecting on how we could make that initial dream a reality. 

‘In that reflection, and due to a change in planning rules, we decided to take a leap of faith and turn the deli into a restaurant, with a huge kitchen, a brand new menu, table service, outdoor seating and plant-based cocktails.  

‘Pouring so many resources into this in the midst of a pandemic has been daunting in many ways, but as we get closer to opening, the excitement is really building. 

‘So today, let me introduce you to ‘Plants by de’, our home of plant-based food; and a place to showcase how innovative and delicious plant-based food can be’.

 Ella closed her deli last year, saying it was ‘impossible to operate’ in the coronavirus climate.

Mother-of-two Ella grew to fame after launching blog Deliciously Ella while a student at University of St Andrews in 2012.

She has since published six recipe books.  Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph last Ella reflected on her quick growth.

‘I wasn’t ready for how quickly Deliciously Ella grew. People look to you for the answers that you’re still figuring out yourself.

‘I was petrified, honestly, I really was. I found it really terrifying, and I was almost too scared to have an opinion, because you can’t make everyone happy.’

Ella is widely associated with clean eating but claims it’s never the way she’s described herself that way. 

Ella is married to Matthew Mills and the couple have two daughters, Skye, 22 months, and May, six months

As well as the burgeoning empire, Ella is the great-granddaughter of Lord Sainsbury’s, and her mother Camilla is the heir to the supermarket fortune.

Her father is the former Labour MP and Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward.  

 As well as dissociating herself with clean eating, Ella added to the Telegraph that she finds the word wellness ‘very charged’ and prefers to think of herself as a ‘well-being writer’ as ‘it doesn’t have quite the same level of different nuances and connotations.’

Who is Ella Mills aka Deliciously Ella?

Ella was a self-confessed ‘sugar monster’, who was struck down with a rare illness that attacked her nervous system and left her bed-bound, and cured herself through healthy eating. 

Ella, who is the eldest daughter of Camilla Sainsbury, the supermarket heiress, and Labour MP and former Cabinet minister Shaun Woodward, blames her former diet for a multitude of problems.

Her childhood was extraordinarily privileged but her diet, by her own account, was appalling and she blames it for her poor health.

In 2011 Ella was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS.

The syndrome effectively breaks down your autonomic nervous system: the system that controls everything that is meant to happen automatically in the body – so your heart beat, digestion, circulation and immune system. 

She was bed-ridden 95 per cent of the time and prescribed conventional medication and steroids for about six months but they didn’t make much difference so she decided to make a change herself. 

Ella tracked her progress and shared all her favourite recipes via an online blog, Deliciously Ella. 

Ella, who studied History of Art at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s University, St. Andrews, was so inundated with recipe requests that she decided to launch an app and runs regular cookery classes and supper clubs.

While Ella starts the day with a green smoothie and follows with salad bowls, hearty soups, kale chips and homemade houmous, we don’t all have the time or taste for that.

The lifestyle guru advises: ‘I think just making one small change a day is amazing, just adding in one new serving of fruit or vegetables a day is fantastic, some sweet potato wedges or guacamole make an insanely delicious addition to any meal and they’re such an easy place to start.’  

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