Deliciously Ella: the female-founded brand that changed the world of health & fitness
What once started as one young woman’s decision to eat a healthier, plant-based diet in hopes that it would help with her chronic illness turned into a rapidly expanding empire that took over the UK with vegan snacks, soups, yoghurts, a blog, an app full of wellness tips and workouts, and even a restaurant.
Ella Mills (née Woodward) was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Ehlers-Danlos, and mast cell activation disorder in 2011. The entrepreneur was only twenty years old and still in the midst of completing her university degree. Her life was quickly overtaken by the illness. Ella was constantly bloated, fatigued, suffered from infections, an uncontrollable heart rate and blood pressure, and spent four months in and out of hospital. Upon her final hospital discharge she was prescribed plenty of different medications but found that they weren’t doing much to help her. Soon enough the condition of her physical health led Ella to hit rock bottom with her mental health. She struggled with depression for a while, until she decided to try a different approach to managing her illnesses. She began researching and found that diet and lifestyle changes were proven to potentially help with her condition. Inspired by others’ stories of success, Ella planned it out; a whole foods approach to eating, no animal products and a more active lifestyle.
‘Deliciously Ella’ was originally just a personal change for her, nothing as global as the company has now become. Ella started taking photos of the new food she was eating and posting them on a blog she’d created. She also started writing recipes and sharing those. The blog blew up in a way she never expected, with over 130 hits within the next few years. Following this new success, Ella launched social media platforms, hosted dinner clubs, started teaching cooking classes and took a huge step forward—launching her app, ‘feel better’.. It quickly reached #1 in the Food & Drink category of the UK app store.
The brand just kept growing. In 2015 Ella was approached to write a cookbook. When the book was published it instantly became a bestseller, to no-one’s surprise.
‘Deliciously Ella’ saw the launch of their first food products, energy balls, not long after. Ella met her husband, Matt Mills (currently CEO of Deliciously Ella), and together they managed to get Holland & Barrett, Tesco, Waitrose, Whole Foods and several other well-known stores to stock their ever-growing range of snacks. Caramel cups, oat bars, chocolate, frozen desserts and loads of other delicious healthy goods began popping up everywhere you went.
Ella and Matt opened the doors to Plants by Deliciously Ella in 2021. The new restaurant boasted flavourful, inventive plant-based dishes, a beautiful location, lovely waitstaff and cosy decor. Their menu changes seasonally and it’s a delight to visit at any time of the year. Plants remains a popular dining area in Mayfair today, with people wanting to sample their 100% vegan dishes at any time of day.
Deliciously Ella has now expanded their range of products to several countries and their biggest retailers (including Switzerland), recently started a podcast, revamped their app, and created a sister brand in collaboration with Waitrose (‘Plants’, like their restaurant) that currently has a range of creamy Greek yoghurts and veggie-filled high-protein soups, with many other products planned.
When asked to comment on her success, Ella beautifully said:
“I’m so proud of what I’ve done so far, and how much I’ve evolved in the past few years. I’m equally excited to see how much further I can go in my own journey.”
You can now download ‘feel better’ on the app store for a reduced price, buy Deliciously Ella products in most health food / organic (bio) stores in Geneva and even find their granola and oat bars in most Migros and Coop stores. I recommend the raspberry and cashew nut butter-stuffed date balls.