If you know me, or my blog, at all, you know that one of my all-time favorite [gluten-free] people is Jules Shepard. Jules' was the first gluten-free flour mix I used, and I still use it today. We met in person at an NFCA event in Philly over a piece of her incredible chocolate cake and, as far as I was concerned, I had a friend for life. So when I heard Jules was leaving her company I kind of freaked out a little.
After some soothing communication from Jules and reading the blogs of some GFers I trust, I feel much better now, thank you.
For those of you who don't know what's going on, or were waiting for the abridged version, here's the facts, Jack:
|Photo courtesy of Amazon.com|
First of all, about Jules: Jules Shepard was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1999. She conceived of and created a gluten-free flour that produced delicious baked goods, without the typically (up to that point) gritty, cardboard-like texture and non-flavor of most GF flours. She has written three important books on celiac disease and living gluten-free and is an unflagging supporter of the gluten-free community. In fact, when the new FDA GF labeling goes into effect this summer, guess who we have to thank? (Hint: That's her adorable face, above.)
What happened? Management disagreements. (To say the least!) Jules brought on partners to help run the business end of things in 2008, when her company really started taking off. According to Gluten Dude's site: "The relationship with her partners eventually became hurtful and contentious, with her partners eventually no longer paying Jules for her work, locking her out of their communications program, preventing her from sending out her weekly recipe e-newsletter, denying her administrative access to her blog, and cancelling flour orders Jules had placed to make her wedding cake next month, among other things." Um...what? That is NOT how we do things in the GF world! Jules resigned and immediately began work on a new company. Then the "partners" did a bunch of other real nasty stuff (check out Gluten Dude for the sordid details. It's bad. Real bad.) and now Jules is scrambling to start all over again. From scratch.
Now what? The new website is gfjules.com, where you can purchase her flour blends and mixes (whose formulations have never changed, by the way,) sporting a new name and logo. (Jules tried to get the "partners" to stop using her cute little likeness, but they won't.)
Want to help? Me too. Here's what to do. First of all, if you were a subscriber to the old website (julesglutenfree.com) when Jules was at the helm, please go unsubscribe now. And obviously, don't buy anything from them.
Check out the new site, gfjules.com, and subscribe. Then you'll know the minute stuff happens. Since Jules is actively working on it, there's always something new.
If at all possible, support Jules. She's spending a gazillion dollars defending herself against these guys, plus trying to get her new business off the ground. There are some great ideas on the site for ways to help.
Because that's what the gluten-free community is all about (besides eating GF): helping each other. Jules has been there for all of us for the past several years; I know we can pull together and help her through this difficult time.
Thanks GF friends.