Trader Profile: Lagniappe Food
Why did you decide to start a street food business?
I love feeding people and wanted to take that passion a step further. Having a market stall is such a great way to be flexible and diverse in your cooking and working in a market has a buzz like nothing else.
What’s the best thing about being a market trader?
Interacting with all kinds of people! There is always someone who knows a Trini, is a Trini or has some kind of connection to Trinis. People are also often very confused as I’m a white Trinidadian - I sometimes end up having in-depth conversations about my heritage. It’s great!
...and the worst?
The weather. It’s such a huge factor in how much you sell from day-to-day, and being from the Caribbean, I have to psych myself up to face the cold sometimes.
Do you have a big team?
It’s just me but I have amazing friends and family who do what they can to help out.
Describe the business and offer in a couple of sentences...
Lagniappe is a Trinidad & Tobago inspired food business. We focus on taking the distinct and exciting flavours and techniques from the islands to inspire and create amazing food, packed with flavour. We’ve got two main dishes for the winter season: a typical Trini soup called Callaloo which is full of good stuff like spinach, okra, pumpkin and coconut milk and served with a coconut bake (aka coconut bread), and tamarind pulled pork stuffed into a sada roti (a traditional Trini flat bread) with coleslaw and avocado. Callaloo is consistently the most popular – people love the healthy fresh ingredients and the little kick that comes from the scotch bonnet. All the meat and veg used in the dishes are bought fresh every week and the sada and coconut bakes are made fresh every morning.
What makes you unique?
Trinidad and Tobago has such an extensive mix of distinct flavours coming from its very diverse culture which many people are yet to explore. A lot of people have a very specific idea of what they think Caribbean food is but every island is different and I hope to show off some of the unique flavours of these amazing islands.
Where did the name and concept come from?
Lagniappe (lan-yap) means a small gift or a little something extra but it’s also used in Trinidad to refer to the last child born many years after their siblings. Being 8 years younger than my closet sibling, I’m the lagniappe (aka mistake child!), so its two-fold meaning is a great representation of the business.
What do you like about Waterloo and Lower Marsh?
It’s constantly on the up and is such a great spot with South Bank literally around the corner. On Lower Marsh you get such a mix of people coming through because of its location. The fact that it’s been around for such a long time makes you feel like part of something big!
Plans for the business for the next 12 months?
Get properly established in Lower Marsh and make a name for Lagniappe. Baby steps!
A little-known fact about the business...
Every trip back to Trinidad results in hours of blending and bottling local seasoning to stuff in my suitcase back to the UK.
Visit Lagniappe on Lower Marsh market every Wednesday - Friday from 11.00am to 3.00pm.