‘Wheatless’ brothers bring full flavour


Aidan and Ben Doherty the ‘Wheatless’ brothers

It’s the savoury aromas that first draw you towards the ‘Wheatless’ marquee. As a Coeliac, it’s difficult to describe the excitement I felt when I first saw it, and on tasting the food, I can only describe the experience as Coeliac food heaven.

I watched as the owner of the business Aidan Doherty and his brother Ben cheerfully chatted with customers, while wearing their specially printed aprons which display their slogan ‘trust me I’m a Coeliac’. They listened to and shared stories about Coeliac experiences with their customers, forming almost, a support group atmosphere. As a Coeliac I found it extremely comforting that the person cooking my food, understands the disease, and knows from experience exactly what can go wrong if glutened. 

Aidan started his business ‘Wheatless’ in August 2018,  and it is a 100 per cent Gluten Free fast food business which serves fresh handmade, gourmet pancakes and burgers. He operates in farmers markets across Munster and also caters for all occasions including weddings and birthdays. In Limerick they are at the Crescent Shopping Centre Market every Friday from 10am until 4pm and the Milk Market on Saturdays from 8am until 2pm. 

“The biggest motivating factor in creating the business for me was the complete lack of high quality, gourmet Gluten Free (GF) and Wheat Free (WF) food available in the marketplace. 

“For Coeliacs, convenience is not a word we use in abundance when looking for food while out on a daily basis. I wanted to prove that GF and WF food can be delicious and that having Coeliac disease and intolerance doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality,” said Aidan.

Having being diagnosed six years ago by complete accident in the UK, Aidan said he had suffered symptoms for many years prior to this and it was completely missed in Ireland, now knowing the signs and symptoms, he and his family have realised that Coeliac disease and Gluten intolerance is prevalent in his family. 

“I believe it is similar for most other families but they have not been diagnosed yet. Once diagnosed, I hadn’t heard of the disease before or knew anyone with it. It was a difficult dietary adjustment but it really got me into cooking which was a good thing. The gluten free market has come a long way since then in supermarkets at least, but has a long way to go to offer high quality, convenient food for us,” added Aidan. 

Aidan said it baffles him as to why it is so difficult to get a Coeliac diagnosis in Ireland, “Ireland has one of the highest propensities to Coeliac disease in the world. The medical community is not as aware nor have the conviction of testing people to identify these issues. A lack of training might point to it, but it has to be a government led testing programme as a simple screening process for this disease may save a lot of money in investigating other avenues that may be simply fixed by a GF diet”.

‘Wheatless’ brothers at the Crescent Shopping Centre Farmers Market


As well as the clever slogans on their aprons, their other slogan is “No Grain, No Pain” which they use because it’s catchy and fun.

“Coeliacs have to be so careful when eating out and trust is a pertinent issue for us. There is a high level of confidence and comfort knowing you are being served by a fellow Coeliac,” said Aidan. 

When Coeliacs first come to their stall, Aidan said their reaction is Surprise. They cannot believe that everything on the menu is gluten and wheat free and that there is so much choice of things that they couldn’t ordinarily have, “Once the shock subsides and they realise they can have everything, everybody is filled with excitement.  

“The Coeliac community is very open and share their stories in a frank manner. Every customer I meet, whether a direct sufferer or not, tells me about their experience or family members’ experience living with Coeliac disease or intolerances. 

“All of these people suffer a myriad of symptoms and no two cases are the same. It can affect sufferers in many different ways. We are living in a society now where people, for the most part, are more in tune with what they eat and how it may affect their health”.

‘Wheatless’ is going from strength to strength, and Aidan said his food is being enjoyed not just by Coeliacs but by everybody, “That was the key for me when starting the business. Serve high quality gourmet food that just so happened to be gluten and wheat free that nobody could tell the difference and to date it has worked. My food appeals to everybody, not just a niche section of the population”.

Aidan’s ambitions for the business are to operate in more farmers markets, then to go on and establish a brick and mortar restaurant and eventually to franchise the business to cover a nationwide market. Ultimately, he would like to see ‘Wheatless’ as being the GF and WF McDonalds of the world.

“Eating Gluten and Wheat free does not have to mean a lack of flavour or quality. I am doing my best to prove this to people and it is working thus far. A lot more needs to be done in offering high quality, not just an option, which can often mean salad without the croutons,” added Aidan. 

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JFH Jewels continuing a family tradition that began with John Harrison the inventor of the chronometer in 1735


http://www.jfhjewels.com

JFH Jewels is a new Irish business owned by my brother John Harrison that is built on and continues the Harrison family tradition in the watch and jewellery industries in both the UK and Ireland. John Harrison senior, a gemmologist and diamond specialist who studied his craft, trained and worked in Hatton Garden and elsewhere in London, had many jewellery shops in Ireland, the most recent were J W Harrisons, Jon Louise and JWH in Limerick City.

This tradition began with our direct ancestor John Harrison who was the subject of Dava Sobel’s  1995 best-selling book, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time,  The book was made into a television series entitled Longitude broadcast on Channel 4 in 2000 starring Michael Gambon as John Harrison and Jeremy Irons as horologist Rupert Gould.

This P L Tassaert’s half-tone print of Thomas King’s original 1767 portrait of John Harrison, which is located at the Science and Society Picture Library in London. In the picture you can see behind John Harrison his 1726 pendulum clock and to his right on the table lies his H4 watch

Born in Yorkshire in 1693, John a carpenter and clockmaker, invented the first marine chronometer which enabled navigators to determine longitude at sea, a task which some of the most respected scientists of the time, including Isaac Newton, thought an impossible task. This was an important development in navigation and was a device that helped to establish the longitude of a ship at sea which made long distance sea travel safer.

John Harrison’s Chronometer at the National maritime Museum, London

Dava Sobel explains that in order to know longitude at sea, you need to know what time it is aboard a ship and also the time at the home port or another place of known longitude at that very same moment. The two clock times enable the navigator to convert the hour difference into geographical separation. Every day at sea, when the navigator resets his ship’s clock to local noon when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, and then consults the home port clock, every hour’s discrepancy between them translates into another fifteen degrees of longitude. One degree of longitude equals four minutes of time. Precise knowledge of the hour in two different places at once was unattainable up to the era of pendulum clocks. On the deck of a rolling ship such clocks would slow down, or speed up, or stop running altogether. Changes of temperature while travelling at sea thinned or thickened a clocks lubricating oil and made its metal parts expand or contract. A rise or fall in barometer pressure, variations in the Earth’s gravity from one latitude to another, could also cause a clock to gain or lose time.

John Harrison spent four decades perfecting a watch that earned him compensation from Parliament thanks to the recognition and influence of King George III of England and became a wealthy man for the last few years of his life.

John Harrison’s H4 compact chronometer

In 1772 Captain James Cook used the K1 chronometer on his second and third voyages to the South Pacific Ocean and praised it’s accuracy. K1 made by Larcum Kendall was an accurate copy of John Harrison’s successful H4 chronometer, but cost a fraction of the price.

http://www.jfhjewels.com

This P L Tassaert’s half-tone print of Thomas King’s original 1767 portrait of John Harrison, which is located at the Science and Society Picture Library in London. In the picture you can see behind John Harrison his 1726 pendulum clock and to his right on the table lies his H4 watch