Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.

From the 2019 Portraiture Series.
Joao Ventura Pâtissier – Great Yarmouth – spoken in his own words.
“I am from Lisbon originally; it is such a beautiful city. I have always worked in bakeries, that is 35 years as a master baker, whilst I have been the boss for 30 of those years.
I came to Great Yarmouth 10 years ago, I had the opportunity from the Portuguese community here, to starting baking in the town. Many of the cakes I bake were bought in, so when I started baking the people simply loved what I was doing. It was as if they were back in Lisbon.
When I first came to the town I worked as an employee, which was ok, but soon I setup my own business and I am glad to say that I am the boss again, which suits me.
Our business is so good at the moment. Of course, it is a lot of hard work, but we are prepared to do that, we came from Portugal to start a new life and that comes from hard work and determination.
You arrive in a country without fear, anything is possible.
Being a baker is a tough job, I work all night, normally starting around midnight and finish baking in the morning. I then stay in the patisserie serving coffee and cake until around 5pm.
People come for coffee and then cakes, the English love the cakes as well, which is great.
At the end of the day, I must please the English with my baking, as I need to live with them.
Our bestseller is the Pastel de nata, I make 500 of these a day here, but of course I make many other cakes.”

About Julian Claxton

My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers. In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan. From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints. My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer. In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance. I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture. One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’. The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film. One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa. For further information please visit
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