James Middleton’s raw dog food company is still struggling financially

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: for years, I always thought James Middleton was the black sheep of his family, the only Middleton without any hustle or business sense. Turns out, he’s not the black sheep at all, he’s a chip off the old block. Carole and Michael Middleton’s Party Pieces left behind a trail of financial destruction in the wake of PP’s bankruptcy. As it turned out, James and his parents have a lot in common: they don’t pay their bills, they defraud small vendors, they use their royal connections to secure millions in “investment” and then the businesses go up in smoke and all of that investment capital has disappeared.

In 2022, James sold his failing Nazi marshmallow business Boomf. James had bilked investors of millions of dollars over the years for Boomf, only to see the business never turn a profit and then get sold off at an extreme loss to an Estonian businessman. But no worries for James, he had already mysteriously purchased a $2 million home in Bucklebury AND started a fourth business after his first three attempts left a trail of angry creditors and defrauded investors. The fourth business: Ella & Co, a raw dog food company (which was later renamed Hello Ella). Guess what? That business isn’t going well either.

Life’s roller-coaster never ceases for the Princess of Wales’s brother, James Middleton. Undaunted by the collapse last year of Boomf — his company which sold novelty marshmallows among other gifts but accumulated trading losses of almost £2 million — he turned his attention to starting a new dog food company.

Hello Ella, named after his beloved spaniel, was dedicated to the ‘happiness and well-being of dogs’. However, at the beginning of this year, the company’s namesake passed away — a blow to James which was followed by the joy of learning that his French wife, Alizee, is expecting their first child.

But now, once more, comes challenging news as Hello Ella’s assets are down to just £92,510 — compared with £334,591 the previous year.

James, 36, takes this in his stride. ‘I’m in a business that I love,’ he tells me, pointing out that it’s a young company, supported by an impressive team of investors.’

Indeed. They include buccaneering insurance and property entrepreneur Raja Balasuriya — a man, I’m assured, who ‘won’t fritter his money’.

[From The Daily Mail]

Again, chip off the old Middleton block – this is his fourth business and he started it as his third business was crashing and burning. That’s how this raw dog food company will end up too – with vendors left high and dry, with a trail of investors left with only a tax write-off. Between James, Carole, Michael and Dodgy Gary Goldsmith, I am left wondering if all of the Middleton-Goldsmiths are scammers and frauds? Whatever is happening with this family, they still have enough power to shut down detailed reporting and investigations in the wake of their scandals. After Party Pieces went bankrupt, there was a blitz of reporting and then a whole lot of nothing. The royal reporters won’t even touch it, they won’t breathe a word of it. I’m surprised the Mail even bothered with this.

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Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.

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73 Responses to “James Middleton’s raw dog food company is still struggling financially”

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  1. ML says:

    There’s something very symbolic about that picture of a hand holding dog food that resembles a cut-up dried-up turd.

    • Concern Fae says:

      This! And “raw” pet food is terrible. Meat production is a huge driver of climate change. We need to be cutting back on human meat consumption, and here’s a whole new industry being built around feeding this terrible for the environment food to our pets. Dogs and cats have been living off the parts of the animals humans don’t consume since they were domesticated 10,000 years ago! It’s pure ego to think that this isn’t good enough for them now.

      • Finn says:

        What an ignorant comment – feeding dogs and cats a balanced raw food diet is the responsible thing to do.

      • Cairidh says:

        Raw pet food is usually the bits thrown away….
        When it’s made from Human grade meat it’s much more expensive.

      • Geekish1 says:

        Cats and dogs are “obligate carnivores.” It doesn’t have to be raw, but if you try to force a cat or dog to be vegan or vegetarian, it will kill them.

  2. Yep he is his mothers son and doesn’t do business well. Drips and drabs of negative info on clan Middleton. Who do we think let this little nugget out of the bag? Chuckles and Horsilla? Peg?

    • Nubia says:

      Ok PP finally crashed and burned but i dont think its fair to cmpare a decades long company to James DOA business ventures.

      • Ok I will be fair it did take party pieces some time to burn but we have been hearing for a couple of years that it was going to burn. So I think it is fair to say he is like his mother in business they both crashed and burned. He just burned more often.

      • sevenblue says:

        “He just burned more often.” lol.

      • Megan says:

        A changing market and pandemic killed Party Pieces. James starts niche businesses with limited (or no) scalability.

      • Jais says:

        Listen, I’m not a business person but even I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a changing market and the pandemic that killed party pieces. That sounds like the line the Middleton’s and their media friends want us to believe, but in truth, it seems more like that company was sketchy from the get go.

  3. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    I don’t get it, this particular business of James’ could really be the making of him but he can’t quite get it together. I mean, he’s got a fantastic idea, a market of people who love their pets and spend billions on them, Kate’s many fans would be buying this stuff (yeah, I know), a great face of the company, his adorable dogs in their dog cart, so why can’t he bring it together? Or is he skimming every bit of profit to fund his lifestyle? If he brought in a person with actual business experience and sense and became the “face” of the company, I think he could really make a go at it.

    • TIFFANY says:

      The cost of living crisis is no joke in the UK, so buying high priced niche dog food really isn’t at the top of anyone’s list.

      He has no sense, business or common.

    • SarahCS says:

      He also seems to a be a bit late to all these trends. On paper each of his businesses could look good and for a while marshmallows were THE thing that seemed to be everywhere. My friend has been buying raw dog food for her dog for years. I think the issue is that while he’s trying to be a fast(ish) follower, he’s going into already saturated markets where you need to be really sharp and have some kind of an edge to survive never mind thrive.

      Plus as Tiffany says, everyone is cutting back and we’re having record numbers of animals left at shelters as people can’t afford to keep them.

    • Sugarhere says:

      James Middleton’s dog food business did NOT go bankrupt due to some unfortunate economic circumstances, he deliberately bankrupted it. Allow me to explain how the great bamboozle or con artistry works here.

      1- Little Jimmy can no longer ask mom and dad for money, because mom no longer enjoys CheapsKate Willy’s favors.

      2- Little Jimmy decides to make money like a big boy, but he’s broke. So he flaunts his royal connection in humble working people’s faces and foreign investors craving for access: Little Jimmy finally collects the 2 million to start off.

      3- Little Jimmy has inherited the lazy + entitled + no patience genes, so instead of using the 2 million to expand his business (every respectable English person own at least one dog), he chooses to spend the investors’ moneys on luxury real estate. He deserves to live like a Tudor earl, you get it?

      4- Once Little Jimmy became the Earl of Embezzley with a lot of real estate to his name, he filed for bankruptcy and blamed it on Covid.

      Conclusion: None of this would have happened had William been shrewd enough to give him 2 million pounds out of his 26 million Duchy’s revenue (= the taxpayer’s money), or had uncle Gary been generous enough to share the spoils of his (therapeutic?) drugs deals.

  4. Libra says:

    Two sons; one who is coddled and supported in his failures and one who goes off to successfully make his own fortune. Guess who’s the outcast?

  5. Amy Bee says:

    I’m not surprised by this at all. He should realise he’s a good businessman and go get a job.

    • Elizabeth says:

      The reason why he’s started his own businesses is because his anxiety and other mental health issues preclude him from getting a job.

      • MsIam says:

        Then why didn’t he just work for his parents’ company? I’m sure they would have accommodated his needs. Instead, he seems like he’s just wasting other folks time and money and not accomplishing much. Plus, wasn’t he managing property for Pippa’s husband? That seems like something flexible and low stress that he could handle. Maybe?

      • BeanieBean says:

        @Elizabeth: no, anxiety & depression don’t preclude getting a job, particularly if you’re managing it with professional help. He’s absolutely capable of getting a job, it’s just not the Middleton way, not for those three ‘kids’.

      • Becks1 says:

        If he’s not capable of getting a job then how is he capable of running his own business, especially starting one from scratch? If he needs more days off or flexible hours, then starting his own business isn’t going to provide him that, not at the start.

        If he really can’t work bc of his mental health, then he needs to consider the UK equivalent of SS disability rather than going through millions and millions in one failed business after another.

      • Nic919 says:

        There are millions of people around the world with anxiety and depression issues who manage to hold down jobs. It’s utter bs to pretend that he can’t. It’s more that he is entitled and does not believe he needs to because his parents coddle him.

      • Lemons says:

        I’m sorry, but let’s not normalize certain mental health issues as absolute deterrents to a job. It’s unfair to those working with these issues because it’s a matter of survival. And it’s unfair to say that because he has anxiety/depression, he should be able to poorly invest others’ money, fail at several businesses, and come out unscathed.

        He needs to go to business school if he is so determined to make his own thing and learn how a successful business is run. His parents clearly can’t help here.

  6. UNCDancer says:

    I’d love to see the prospectus on this business. Selling high-end dog food during a cost-of-living crisis? To whom? And at what volume? Those investors are getting something beyond a marginal ROI.

    • SarahCS says:

      I’d pay money to see him on Dragons Den.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That stuff looks vile. I don’t have a dog, so I’m not up on the latest & greatest in dog food, but these dry as dirt pellets? Are you supposed to add water to soften it up? I bet this is failing because dogs hate it & their people won’t buy it a second time. Isn’t ‘raw’ supposed to mean raw meat, fruits & vegetables, and such? What even is this stuff? Ground up bone? And maybe leather?

  7. Louise177 says:

    I still don’t understand the marshmallow business. It made zero sense to me. I don’t have pets but it seems like raw dog food would have a market. Wonder why it’s failing so fast.

    • BeanieBean says:

      As a standalone business, it made zero sense. As a product line for a candy company, it would make more sense.

  8. Eurydice says:

    I don’t think investors get involved with a guy who’s had 3 failed businesses because they care about dog food.

  9. girl_ninja says:

    That whole family is all about getting rich quick and fame. A bunch of career flops.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ girl_ninja, yup!! Any chance at creating an actual company to siphon money from and to keep all of the profits to themselves is the Middleton way!! Even Uncle Gary has been able to cash in with his nefarious lifestyle. The whole family is white trash sans trailer parks…..

  10. slippers4life says:

    I’d love to see someone write a well researched article comparing the business lives of Harry and James (using the fact they are both the brother of a future King and the other the future Queen), and the differing media portrayal. I mean of course you could make the argument that Harry is also Royal born and far faaaaaaarrrrrr more fascinating and newsworthy than James, but that would only explain the frequency of how often both are written about. The way Harry and Meghan are being said to be failures now because of one little contract with Spotify not renewing and stories like the Middleton’s total bankruptcy just, disappearing are interesting to me. Kate obviously has managed to wield a lot of power in the media and I think the little trickle of stories like this we are surprised to read, are William’s camp reminding her that she needs to stay in her place, Adelaide cottage with the kids and no live in staff, or she won’t get to wear any of the jewlery!

  11. Janey says:

    They are all grifters – remember Pippa’s book in which she so helpfully advised people how to make ice?

    • Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

      Celebrate, yeah those were the good times 🤣🤣🤣

    • Boxy Lady says:

      And Harry and Meghan’s critics call *them* grifters! The real grifting is happening with every one of the Middletons. (Yes, I consider Kate a grifter too. She serves as the anchor.)

    • SarahCS says:

      Aww, I do miss Pippa Tips. Simpler times.

    • Shawna says:

      Pippa Tips = one of my favorite times ever here on CB!

    • Inge says:

      No but I remember the advise for people living near a beach that a trip to the beach is a fun day out.

      Thank god Pippa told them that because they would have never figured that out for themselves!

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      Lol. Ahhh. Thanks for the reminder. I loved how they played Pippa’s tips on The Windsors, like when it was her idea to put tea in teacups.

    • Cairidh says:

      Somebody on a forum suggested it might be because pippa grew up with Kate, whose not an intellectual, and was used to having to explain simple things to her.

  12. Ameerah M says:

    That food looks like dried turds. Who would want to feed that to their dog?

    • Eurydice says:

      Lol, from what I can tell, dogs like to eat actual dried turds right out of the cat box.

      • Ameerah M says:

        I’m a cat person so the look of horror on my face right now…

      • Eurydice says:

        Cat person here, too – I share your horror.

      • Melly says:

        Another cat person here – I’ve seen this happen. My friends beagle used my cat’s litter box as her snack location. Needless to say, we had to secure the litter box better.

      • Cairidh says:

        I had a dog who would stick his head over the litter box and eat them fresh, as they came out of the vending machine…before they had chance to hit the floor.

        I had a different dog who tried to do that to humans.

  13. Digital Unicorn says:

    Failed businesses seems to be a family trait amongst other things – like stalking.

    I think James needs to stick to working for his BIL – someone who actually has business sense.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Terribly Moderately Rich Matthews and his business sense aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Much of that wealth appears to be on paper and appears to have disappeared in recent years. You don’t sell off a London property, move to the country, and purchase a petting zoo (WTF?) if you’ve multiple millions in the bank. IMO it isn’t only the Middleton wealth that has been smoke-and-mirrors.

  14. Mary Pester says:

    Sooo, here is a special announcement “please be aware that there will now be multiple pictures of William and Kate plus their children within the next 24 hours, even some pictures of them playing with a dog (no not Andrew), we will then get more pictures of James with his dog food, giving the impression that Billy and botox feed their hound on this food, then we will get multiple pictures of Harry and Megan’s dog with it’s poor little legs in plaster from a couple of years ago, with the insinuation that their dog has been neglected, honest to god you can write the script for these grifters. And Jamie boy, stop emulating your mother and treating your businesses as your own personal money box

  15. Inge says:


    That sums up the Middletons and their business ventures.

    Also shows W&K fans don’t care. Sussex fans support charities&businesses H&M are associated with, W&K just let those fail.

  16. aquarius64 says:

    It doesn’t matter if the media buries it, the people in high places know the Middletons are tolerated trash. The moment William divorces Kate the family is some.

  17. Nubia says:

    Its like Kris Jenner and Carole are brilliant with their daughters but have no idea what to do with their sons or males in their lives.

    • Cairidh says:

      James might be the family scapegoat. They grow up constantly being told they’re bad, constantly criticised and smeared without having done anything to deserve it. So they often end up utterly defeated. They never achieve anything in life because they don’t believe they’re capable of it, and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

      Meanwhile the golden child (Kate) is constantly praised and treated as superior without having done anything to deserve it. They grow up to be entitled. They expect to be given special treatment without having to do anything to earn it.

  18. Loretta says:

    He’s a such flop

  19. AnneL says:

    I think raw, high-end dog food is a product that could sell like gangbusters if marketed well. James just isn’t good at running a business. I know there is a cost of living crisis in the UK. But there is in the US too, and people are still spending a lot of money on their pets. Partly because more people are just choosing to have pets and not have kids. Raw dog food might be expensive, but not as expensive as raising children.

    Anyway. Another day, another failed Middleton business.

    • Tessa says:

      There is a lot of competition in the pet food market.

      • Lemons says:

        Yeah, but we don’t even have confirmation that the royal dogs eat his dog food. If he did an interview with his dogs and mentioned that the Wales’ dogs also get shipments of his raw dog food, he would see an uptick in sales. Does William tell his friends to buy the dog food? I’m guessing not.

        It’s just unfortunate because he has everything else going for him. People dream of those connections. But they are wasted on this bunch of grifters.

  20. Tessa says:

    He needs to tone down seeking media attention. He resorts to talking about what Kate is really like.

  21. Blujfly says:

    Gary might be dodgy now but he actually
    got into IT recruiting when it was hot and new and sold his company at the height of the market, way back in the 90s. He had his fortune way before Kate was even at Marlborough. He probably just lives off a slew of diversified investments. The rest of them….

    • Tessa says:

      Gary may or may not have a lot of money. It was thought Carole was a “successful” entrepreneur. I don’t like Gary badmouthing Harry and Meghan. And he is a person who knocked his wife unconscious.

  22. Blujfly says:

    I didn’t say I like him, but his business dealings were public and known in the 90s, long before the Middletons became public figures.

  23. BQM says:

    James likely feels he has to try business since he wasn’t a daughter expected to marry a title. He’d probably be happier being a stay at home dad now that Alizee’s expecting and with their fur babies. Let her be the breadwinner.

    • Tessa says:

      I wonder if Carole wanted james to look to one of the York princesses for.a marriage propect

  24. Unblinkered says:

    What an absolute shower the Middletons are.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: until or unless rough old Carol & Mike sell their huge manor house, to do the honourable thing and pay off their creditors, they have no place in public ever again.
    I’m convinced that the UK media are laying off them this year, after The Queens’s death, to continue propping up the inept and fragile KM. Scandals around KM to be avoided at all costs. For the time being.

  25. blue says:

    James has shown no business acumen whatever. If he had to live off his own earnings without all the handouts from family & friends + a job & a place to live from Pip’s husband, he’d be in a cheap bedsit.
    Or maybe he dances well & could be a gigolo?

  26. Libra says:

    Party Pieces may have been legit when it first started out, but I believe that at some point it became a front for different purposes. Millions of dollars profit from a business known for a slim profit margin just doesn’t add up.

    • Libra says:

      Hit submit accidentally; James would not be able to be employed by his family business because there has not been a viable business for quite some time imo.

  27. Kristin says:

    This shit just pisses me off in an almost irrational manner, because you damn well KNOW that if this was Meghan’s family pulling all these grifts and scams, the British media would be up her ass nonstop. But because it’s “Saint Kate’s” kin, it’s “crickets”.