Any preconceptions I might have had about Ella Mills were smashed the moment she took to the stage at the Glee Club on Tuesday night. In honesty, I had half-expected there to be nothing behind Ella’s glossy presentation on social media, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Ella is a charismatic young lady, who genuinely believes in the cause her healthy food promotes – mental and physical health, eating whole, natural foods, and more recently the sustainability of our planet’s environment.
I already own Ella’s previous books, and have followed her on Instagram for a few years. I’m a fan of the way she cooks already, but it was so refreshing to hear her talk openly about growing a health and wellness business from nothing – something that certainly resonated with myself, the clinic here being just one year younger than the Deliciously Ella brand.
She has poured her heart and soul into the recipes in the book, but also into the joining sections that describe the journey of her business from a one-man-band, to an international food product brand, books sold in multiple languages, and a chain of deli restaurants to boot.
It would be easy from the outside to think that this has all come naturally to Ella, but in fact hearing her speak, she describes the struggles that a small grass-roots business faces in it’s infancy so candidly, it’s almost impossible not to get sucked in. Cash flow, employees, unscrupulous investors, hate mail on the internet… You’re rooting for her right from the off!
She describes interviewing her first employee; “Are you nice? Do you like kale?”
Michelle and I were in the audience chuckling and recalling our own first meeting where I opened the conversation; “I think you might be the first friend I’ve made as a grown up!”
Ella describes her life’s mission as encouraging us to look at the effects our diet have on our health and our planet. She’s not a purist; in fact, when questioned about serving meat and fish in her first deli, Ella eloquently answered, “Everybody needs to be able to come to eating healthier in their own time, in their own way.” If they need a little piece of salmon on their salad bowl to start off with, Ella’s fine with it – it’s about progress in the right direction. Progress not perfection; now there’s someone after my own heart.
Ella’s new book, The Plant-Based Cookbook; 100 simple vegan recipes to make every day delicious is available now.