It’s Just Business: Paleo Pushers: Changing lives one cookie at a time

There is perhaps no better endorsement for a product than true testimonials from the entrepreneurs who create and market it. This is the case with Todd and Jocelyn Ellis – a.k.a. Paleo Pushers – who launched their all-natural, preservative free cookies business by making their own and sharing with their friends.

Todd Ellis credits his wife for getting the whole thing started.

“She had been going to cross-fit classes and they started an eating challenge called Whole 30. She came home and said, ‘you should try this with me,’” he said. “Pretty much our entire lives changed in the course of 60 days, from our diet to our energy to the people we intermingled with in this new culture we dove into.”

Thus launched the couple’s interest in the Paleo Diet, a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food. Gaining much popularity in recent years, the Ellises capitalized on this healthy way of eating and living by making paleo lunches for a take-out business at the CrossFit 138 gym in Tacoma.

“After a while it was too much work for my wife and me to keep going so we quit the box lunch business but they still wanted our cookies,” Todd explained. “The cookies were just kind of a bonus on top of the meal as something that’s good for you but it’s a treat at the same time. We started thinking about it, and they’re easy to make, so I started getting up in the morning and baking dozens of cookies before I went to crossfit.”

The cookies continued to be a hit and now the Tacoma-based Paleo Pushers makes several varieties including choco-lava, vanilla protein and snickerdoodle with only the healthiest of ingredients. For example, the snickerdoodle is made with almond, honey, egg, vanilla, coconut, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon – that’s it. Paleo Pusher cookies are made with local ingredients whenever possible, like Bee King’s Honey, and the Ellises hand-grind their own almonds for almond butter. They are available at numerous Tacoma outlets, including Tacoma Fresh, CrossFit 138, CrossFit Decimus, Marlene’s Natural Foods Market and Deli, and at the Vashon Island Thriftway, Newport Avenue Market (Bend, Ore.) and online at

Paleo Pushers is a family owned and operated business, and this is an important component of the business. Tood and Jocelyn and been married for 15 years and have four children: Katelynn, 20; Quentin, 18; Rylan, 15; and Iaen, 13.

“I am passionate in sharing a business’s functions with my family, especially my children, and those likewise in our extended family (nieces/nephews),” Todd said. “Giving them an opportunity that I never had, playing with functional roles within an actual business, is pretty awesome to watch…to just let their interest guide them into learning something new.”

As a new entrepreneur, Todd Ellis said he has learned many things along the way when it come to running a business and he enjoys the people the most or, as he puts it, “the endless synergy and outward spin that supportive entities and groups can impart upon each other. That’s gold, and something I use to validate that the people I choose to work with are genuine.”

He also enjoys seeing people’s lives change by adopting healthier lifestyles.

“It’s joyful because I get to promote change and I get to watch people realize they can change through that – that’s really why I do it.”

Paleo Pushers has brought lots of good things to the Ellises. “I practice mindfulness,” Todd said, “and attempt to bring that into everything I do. Since that began, I have noticed growing success across many aspects of my life… this cookie endeavor being but one such result.”