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.