In the Vale of Glamorgan’s burger battles, there’s a new kid on the block. A few kids actually, and they’re led by the burger king (in waiting) John Venners, otherwise known as The Bapman.
Okay, we’ll cut the drama, there aren’t any burger wars raging in the Vale, and John isn’t a kid anymore. Far from it. John is a retired police officer who worked for the Met and National Law Enforcement for thirty-one years.
Anyway, John ended up in Barry where his expertise and appreciation of ‘fast food’ grew. “We were always on the go,” says John. We’d grab a burger whenever we could and soon worked out what was a good burger and what wasn’t. We were connoisseurs!”
Although the ‘force was strong’, John retired from policing nine years ago and, being relatively young, tried several jobs to keep active. But, Barry being Barry where things don’t happen, they occur. The local rugby club needed some catering, so John thought he’d have a go – purchased a van from Glastonbury (where most burger vans begin their lives) and spent a few thousand pounds making it Bapman ready.
Meanwhile, he was working at Dow Corning and the opportunity came along to place the van at LBS (it took him two years to get the pitch). There, in the early mornings, he perfected the Bapman Special. A romantic notion, and probably worthy of a film script but, actually, he had quite a lot of help from Ben Griffith of Butty Bach. “He taught me how to cook a great burger using his special seasoning,” he says. “I am deeply indebted to Ben, without him none of this would have been possible.”
John is a huge supporter of Mind, especially the “It Takes Balls to Talk” campaign – he saw a lot during his time in the force (two of his mates committed suicide). “I wanted to do my bit,” says John. “I want to help get disadvantaged kids into work. During my years I’ve watched youngsters with emotional and physical issues get overlooked. Most of the time, these kids just need a break.
You can follow the Bap man on Facebook. John and Andy are regular posters and, thankfully, their burgers are better than their videos – just saying.
The Bap Man
LBS Builders Merchants
6 Ty Verlon Industrial estate
Barry CF63 2BE
You can see the feature in the Summer 2021 edition of Vale Life. Click here.
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Looking for a big smile when you advertise? Call Jennifer on 07766 106701 and let Vale Life show you what special means. You’ll be grinning ear to ear.