Hi, we’re MìLà
In Chinese it’s normal to greet people with “Have you eaten?” (吃了吗) instead of “How are you?” Food is one of the most basic but deepest ways to express care. And that’s always been at the heart of what we do.
We opened in 2018 as Xiao Chi Jie, a restaurant in Bellevue, WA, where we shared the amazing ingredients, recipes, and flavors of our Chinese heritage. Since then, we’ve grown, and so has our passion for what we do.
In 2023, XCJ became MìLà. As we evolved, we wanted a new name that felt authentically Chinese but could keep growing with us. We’re the same small team, making the same insanely delicious products, just with a new look.
A note from our co-founders
MìLà means honey (mi 蜜) and spice (la 辣) in Chinese. It’s actually the name we wanted to give our daughter. Growing up Chinese American, I felt there was a stereotype of how a Chinese girl should be—and I was too outspoken and opinionated to fit it. I wanted my daughter to have the freedom to be who she wanted to be—sweet, spicy, whatever.
Well, our first kid ended up being a boy, but the name still stuck. We wanted to rename our brand to represent the idea of breaking out of stereotypes and labels. People often ask us if we’re a Chinese or American food brand. If we make “traditional” or “modern” food. If we do savory or sweet dishes. The answer is all of the above. MìLà is about embracing the freedom to grow into whatever you want to be and choosing how you own your identity.
Our hope is to build something that feels authentically and uniquely true to our roots as a Chinese American-founded brand. Something we can own, but that’s also meant to be shared. One of the things we love about Chinese food is that it’s traditionally served family-style—shared with everyone gathered at the table. MìLà is a Chinese food brand, but it’s really a celebration of the power of food to bring us together, share our stories, and discover new flavors and cultures.
Thanks so much for being part of this journey. We’re glad you’re here—and we hope you’re hungry. Here’s to more growth, stories, and of course XLBs.
– Jen & Caleb
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDERS
We’re proud to be the children of immigrants. As second-generation Chinese-Americans, we couldn’t be more excited to share the flavors of our heritage with the world. This little company that could connects us over what matters the most: a delicious shared meal.Read more