In a new series from the Glasgow Times, we’ll be introducing you to a new face from in and around the Barras Market every week with a focus on the area’s Food and Drink heroes.

From colourful characters who are ‘built into the woodwork’ to a new guard that has captured the attention of the TikTok generation, find all of their stories here.

When we ask Colin Jenkinson, owner of Monster Munchies, why it is that regulars at his tiny street food outlet in the heart of the Barras Market call him Chris, he has no definitive answer, but doesn’t seem to mind.

“I don’t actually know for sure how that caught on”, he laughs, “I used to pass the Barras to get to work in Merchant City and made some friends there.

“One of the women at the stalls called me Chris and it stuck, now that’s what about 90 per cent of the people here know me as.

“It’s a bit of Chinese whispers I guess, but that’s fine with me.”

Glasgow Times:

A minor case of mistaken identity aside, relative newcomer Colin has settled in well at the iconic market after years of eyeing up a coveted spot amongst the hustle and bustle on his way to work in high-end restaurants across the city.

He said: “I had been trying to get into the Barras for a long time, but there were never any units available.

“There are a lot of cool people down there and I spent a lot of time around the area when I was younger.

“After lockdown, I kept saying to the organisers ‘I have this really amazing concept, just get me a space’ until one finally became available.

“I asked about it, got the gig and never looked back.”

Glasgow Times:

The cosy set-up for Monster Munchies now sees the 39-year-old slinging a selection of bao buns (hailed by many as the best in Glasgow), loaded fries and noodles inspired by countless trips to the city’s Asian supermarkets in search of new flavours.

Although not one for self-promotion, he has fast become the star of many a TikTok video and Instagram reel thanks to this small but mighty menu over which he has total control.

It’s a stark contrast to past kitchen jobs which saw him clock up gruelling 18-hour shifts, but one that he says was crucial to his mental wellbeing in the wake of a devastating personal tragedy in 2020.

Glasgow Times:

He said: “I was working at a restaurant in town just before lockdown and my partner was pregnant.

“When she was around 24 weeks in, we visited the hospital and were told that the baby was coming that night, and that was it.

"We were in shock.

“She wasn’t expected to survive birth, but did, and was born blind and deaf, and had Multiple Sclerosis.

“When they did scan on her brain, they found bleeding.

“She was three days old when we had to turn her machine off.

“We held her funeral on March 13 and a week later the country went into lockdown.

"Then we had a year in the house without anyone else.”

Glasgow Times:

By his own admission, a huge outpouring of support from friends both within and outside of the hospitality industry was critical in helping him through this ‘dark’ period.

With more than two decades of experience behind him, the chef began working pop-up kitchens over in his home of Torrance during lockdowns as he developed a blueprint for a business that would allow for a whole new way of life.

Glasgow Times:

He said: “A year later when we had another baby, I decided that I would never work long shifts like I had been for someone else again.

“Life is too short and I wanted to take mine back.

“Monster Munchies was never really something I had a big plan for, I just wanted to be happy.

“I’ve got two young kids now and I’ll be spending every minute I can with them.

“The Barras lets me do that.”

Glasgow Times:

One year on, Colin finds himself at the centre of the action every weekend at the famous East End market.

With a new sense of work-life balance and unbridled enthusiasm for the food he cooks, the magic of his surroundings and the famously eclectic mix of people he works alongside has not worn off.

He said: “They’re really creating something down there, I love it.

“The place is jumping and anyone who’s there has got such a passion for what they’re doing.

“I learned a long time ago that if you’re happy, your food is happy too and at the Barras it almost feels like I’m cooking in the living room for my family.

“As much as there’s a new wave of people down there that have blown up because of things like TikTok there’s still the ones that are built into the woodwork, ‘characters’ with patter who will be able to sell you whatever it is you need.

“'People make Glasgow’ you know?

“It’s never been said better than that.”

Find Monster Munchies on Instagram here.

If you have a favourite spot in and around the Barras Market, let us know by emailing