Gerry’s

You’ll find Gerry’s stall on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays near the Barbican end of Whitecross Street. He sells honeys, jams, marmalades, and cakes.

Best buys

Pure Irish honey from Eire. It is made by a mother and daughter team from their own bees on their country farm. £4.95

Pastel de natas. These are not just any custard tarts. These delicious pastries which are the national pride of Portugal are freshly made by a specialist Portuguese baker over the river. £1.00 for plain, £1.20 for filled.

The honeys

Gerry was at a farmers’ market in Eire ten years ago when he discovered Mileeven honey. It was so good he started importing it, and he has been selling it on Whitecross Street market ever since. These are the different types. They are all pure, unblended, raw honeys.

Pure Irish honey. This is the family’s own honey from their own bees. £4.95

Pure honey from Spain. £4.95

Acacia honey from Hungary. £5.95

Organic honey from Mexico. £3.95

Orange blossom honey from Spain. £3.95

Lavender honey from France. £4.25

Manuka honey from New Zealand. £18.50

Sarah’s honey with ginger is a blend of acacia honey with ginger, orange, and cinnamon. (Sarah is the name of the daughter.) £3.50 or 2 for £6.00.

Sarah’s honey with walnuts is made from acacia honey and walnuts. £3.50 or 2 for £6.00

You can also buy an assortment of honeys to try out which you like best. £2.50

Gerry also sells bars of beeswax which are good for making candles, or as lip balm, or polish.

Jams

Mileeven also make their own jams and marmalade and these are very popular. Gerry offers:

Summer fruits and Irish whiskey. £3.50

Irish breakfast marmalade. £3.50

Raspberry and Irish poitin. £3.50

You can also buy an assortment of the three jams to try. £2.00

Pastel de natas and other cakes

Pastel de natas (very superior custard tarts) are the national pastry of Portugal. Gerry’s are the real thing. They come from the specialist Portuguese bakery, Madeira. The pastel de natas which Gerry sells are plain (£1), or with blackcurrants (£1.20), or with raspberries (£1.20), or with cinnamon (£1).

He also usually has a selection of more traditional British cakes, such as cherry Bakewell tarts, brownies, and doughnuts filled with jam, Chantilly cream, or Nutella. £1.50

The family behind the honeys and jams

It all started in the Irish Republic in 1988 when Ellis and Joe Gough decided to take an evening course to avoid the traffic home. It was a toss up between cabinet making and bee keeping – bee keeping won.

They began keeping bees as a hobby. Just two hives to start with. Then they moved to a larger property at Piltown in County Kilkenny, and the two hives turned into a hundred. They discovered they had a honey business. They gave it the name ‘Mileeven’. which is a mixture of ‘Mil’, the Irish for honey, and ‘Aoibhinn’ (pronounced “eeven”) which means delightful.

They started by selling the Pure Irish Honey created in their home kitchen from their own bees. That is still their best-loved honey. Later the range grew to include other honeys from around the world – all of them pure, raw, unblended, honey.

Mileeven is run now by Eilis and her daughter, Sarah, still in County Kilkenny.