The modern Chinese brand bringing restaurant-quality dishes into consumers’ homes unveiled a fresh identity as MìLà, formerly Xiao Chi Jie and has announced a strategic partnership with actor and author Simu Liu. Rooted from the Chinese words for honey (mì 蜜) and spice (là 辣), MìLà reflects the founders’ experiences of being “third culture” kids: both Chinese and American, not either/or. This new name represents the evolution of the street food concept into a national brand positioned to serve consumers across the US.
“Simu has broken barriers in Hollywood in the same way we want to increase representation of authentic Chinese flavors in grocery aisles nationwide,” said MìLà Co-founder Jennifer Liao. “At MìLà we want to celebrate Chinese cuisine in a way that is inclusive, exciting and approachable for people. Together, Simu and MìLà are aiming to amplify understanding and enjoyment of modern Chinese food.”
As Chief Content Officer, Simu Liu joins MìLà’s executive team and will play an active role in the business, partnering on creative strategy and driving major initiatives for the brand. He will also act as the company’s brand ambassador, representing MìLà across diverse marketing channels and assisting in its expansion to the retail channel. Liu will champion storytelling that will help bring “third culture” visibility to wider audiences, uniting people through inclusive food experiences rooted in heritage and crafted for a new generation.
“Many Asian kids, like myself, grew up being made fun of for the taste, look or smell of food that wasn’t familiar to other kids. MìLà is demystifying Chinese cuisine and creating an inclusive conversation around third culture in a way that I’m thrilled to be a part of,” said Liu. “As I grew to know the brand, Jen and Caleb, and their mission to recreate and further evolve the delicious flavors and dishes we all grew up eating, partnering with them felt very natural. Plus, MìLà’s soup dumplings got my parents’ tough stamp of approval.”
“Our new brand identity and partnership with Simu is a continuation of growth for the company – this sets us up well for our retail debut further increasing the accessibility and reach of our products,” said MìLà Co-founder and CEO, Caleb Wang.
MìLà will be hitting shelves close to home in Town & Country, Metropolitan Market and QFC stores in Washington and Oregon in April. In the coming months, the brand will launch in Bay Area Costco locations and will be available at more stores by mid-summer, with additional retailers to be announced.
This announcement comes on the heels of MìLà’s $22.5 million Series A raise led by Stripes and Imaginary Ventures.