Hi, I'm Gem and I'm the founder of VALA. When my partner started training for marathons, I watched him consuming preservative-packed and additive-laden gels that were packed with maltodextrin, over-processed syrups and acesulfame k. It seemed that exercising as an act of love for his mind and body was being undone by these artificial gels and the numerous additives that they included. I resolved to change this and began making him gels from all natural ingredients.

VALA's seven natural ingredients

After speaking to fellow athletes about the lack of natural gels available, I noticed a great demand for a gel that performed well, didn't cause digestive upset and tasted delicious. VALA's ethos is underpinned by a holistic approach to exercise, which incorporates mental, physical, spiritual and gut health. I'm a big advocate for a plant-based diet and have seen the many benefits that it has to offer, which is why I was so passionate about creating a gel from natural ingredients.

My partner Dann, who was the inspiration for VALA

I began sharing VALA sample gels with fellow runners, triathletes, tennis players and BMX riders, which received an overwhelmingly positive response. I quickly realised that running a start-up food business and juggling a full-time job was near impossible, so I decided to leave my job as an advertising Art Director in London, moved back to South Wales to qualify as a Personal Trainer and Life Coach and founded VALA. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Afan Forest is one of Team VALA's favourite spots in South Wales

Since launching in June 2020, VALA gels have been chosen as Runner's World 'Best in Test'. We've also been featured in magazines including Women's Running, Trail Running, Stuff magazine and GQ magazine.

VALA has won multiple awards including a Gold Medal at the Free From Food Awards for Innovation - you can find out more about our press reviews and awards here.

I've also written a book called 'KEEP IT REAL' about the honest and need-to-know steps to starting a business from scratch. You can find out more and purchase it here.

You can find Team VALA making the most of our beautiful Welsh landscape over on our Instagram. Drop by, say hi and join us on this wild ride (or run/climb/hike/swim).

Welcome to the crew, you're going to love it!

If you'd like to get in touch, please email us at contact@valaenergy.com.