This story begins in 1837, with a man of Italian descent, purchasing one of the most beautiful town houses, in one of the most noble cities, Valletta.
The house situated at 81, Old Theatre Street, Valletta was bought by textile merchant Vincenzo Formosa from Victoria, Gozo, in 1837. Nine years later, in 1846, Vincenzo married Ursola Galea and they had two daughters, Giovanna and Rosaria. In 1890, Giovanna, the eldest, got married to a wines and spirits merchant Fortunato Ellul. After Giovanna died, giving birth to their only son Antonio, Fortunato married her sister Rosaria, but sadly they had no children together.
Fortunato Ellul, founder of ‘Ellul Wines and Spirits’ opened his first shop in Merchant’s Street in 1878, producing spirits such as anisette and other liquors. Fortunato was also known as “Tal-Maxxata” a nickname originating from a drink he used to make from anisette, called “Maxxata”. Eventually, he opened a second shop at 152, St. Lucy’s Street, Valletta which was run by his only son Antonio Ellul who also started importing spirits and wines.
Antonio married Alice Borg in 1918 and they had seven children. He died at the young age of 46 and his son Carmelo had to leave school to manage his father’s business. He was later joined by his younger brothers Fortunato and Joseph, and, after their mother’s death, Joseph bought out his brothers. He introduced confectionery into the business and expanded the business by buying the shop next door, in Treasury Street.
“Ellul Wines & Spirits” is now owned and run by his sons Matthew and Andrew Ellul, who also own the original house in Old Theatre Street which was kept by the three Ellul maiden sisters Giovanna, Maria and Risette; daughters of Antonio and Alice Ellul.