Source: Deliciously Ella

Deliciously Ella CEO Matthew Mills and founder Ella Mills

Deliciously Ella has bought food manufacturer Green Way Foods’ factory out of administration, saving 27 workers’ jobs at the Milton Keynes site.

The 15,000 sq ft site has been one of the brand’s core suppliers since it launched its retail range in 2016.

“Like a lot of food manufacturers, Greenway Foods has had a very difficult time over the past three years,” said Deliciously Ella CEO Matthew Mills.

“The business heads had reached a point of real financial difficulty and we had the opportunity to acquire the trade and the assets out of administration.”

The deal was struck using a balance sheet cash. While Mills kept tight-lipped on the financial details, he said it was “by far the largest investment we’ve ever made”.

Thanks to some “amazing teamwork” at Deliciously Ella HQ “we were able to get it done just in time”, said Mills.

“It was very opportune timing because we kicked off several large innovation projects with the factory within the within the last three months.

“There was already quite a substantial innovation pipeline in existence, so now what we’re doing is just accelerating that.”

The NPD is planned to launch into retailers in April or May 2024. According to Mills, it was “some of the best we’ve ever had”.

Deliciously Ella products made in the Milton Keynes factory currently account for “about 15%” of the business’ revenue.

However, the business had ambitions to increase this over the next year to 18 months, so that “more than half of our revenue will be manufactured at the site,” said Mills.

The factory will continue making products for two external customers. Mills said he was “very much open to the idea of other customers coming in”.

“To be able to enter the world of manufacturing is something that makes us incredibly proud and we feel a huge responsibility in doing it.

“It was one of the most humbling moments of my life when we told the almost 30 people at the factory that they were going to be retaining their jobs a month before Christmas.

“It’s an incredibly proud moment to welcome all these amazing people into our team.”