Two of a kind: Louise and Nikki

Categories: Behind the stalls

The cousins found behind the stall at Cannon & Cannon

Nikki on Louise
The first thing I remember about seeing Louise when I was 15 was her flaming red hair. I remember thinking she was so exotic, living in London, and that I wanted to be like that. I'm blonde at the moment but you never know, I might dye my hair red so I can be the new Louise at the Market.

I remember when I first came to London, I just loved it. I am a real food lover and when I first came to the Market I thought, this is absolute heaven. I come from a small town where it is difficult to get things like artichokes and here at Borough there is such an amazing variety. I remember Louise telling me what an amazing place it is and she was sure I would love it here. She was so right.

I sometimes have to remind myself that though we have known about each other all our lives, we have only really known each other for four years, and for most of them we have lived in different countries.

We definitely seem to be on the same wavelength. Quite often I will turn to pick something up and Louise is already there about to hand it to me, with a grin on her face. The one word I would think of to describe the dynamic between the pair of us would be ‘connection’, because there really are times when we seem to have one mind.

When I am on the stall I like to have conversations with the customers. I really enjoy it because I’m a very outgoing person, but it can be a bit intimidating when you start a new job. But the great thing about Louise is her personality, she is so bubbly and it’s infectious, so when I saw the way she engaged with the customers and how they responded it gave me the confidence to do it as well.

She told me that people come to the Market for the experience as well as the food, so it’s alright for me to have a good time—as long as we don’t forget we are at work. It's a more enjoyable experience for me as well as the customers that way.

If I was going to invite Louise for dinner, I think I would cook for her at home. She is incredibly healthy and has a very good diet. I think the meal would probably include things like kale, quinoa and especially aubergines. Louise loves aubergines.

In terms of products from the stall, I would give her the lemon and thyme rose veal. It is English rose veal with pork fat, lemon zest and thyme. You get that citrus edge from the lemon and then a really nice herby taste from the thyme. I would choose it because for me it is very exotic—just like Louise. 

Louise and Nikki

Louise on Nikki
In one way I have known Nikki a long time and in another way no time all. She is 19 now and I actually saw her for the first time when she was a baby. She is my father’s cousin’s grandchild and I used to visit them when she was very young. They lived on a farm on the Jutland peninsula in a small town called Ikast and I would go there to ride their horses.

But then I moved to London so we didn't stay in touch. I saw her again for the first time when I was driving my son through Denmark and dropped in to visit her mother. Nikki was 15 at the time and she said that she would like to move to London when she had finished her studies.

Working with Nikki is brilliant, we just get on really well. The thing is that we are both bright and bubbly people and we feed off each other’s energy during the day. I think the atmosphere behind the stall attracts customers but also, just as importantly, it means it’s a great place to be. I’ve always been an outgoing person and Nikki is just the same. It's like having two of me behind the stall.

Nikki loves talking to the customers and is always getting into conversations with them. Of course it starts with the products, but it goes on from there; where else have they been in the Market, are they on holiday. It was my idea that Nikki looked for a job here really, so it’s lovely to see her engage with the customers and enjoy it. It makes me really proud watching her doing so well.

Sometimes the person I feel for most is the other person on the stall. When we are talking to each other—which we do a lot—sometimes we suddenly realise that we have switched into Danish but have been assuming Fabio or whoever is working with us has been following the conversation. We try not to do that. The problem is sometimes it is just easier to say something in Danish.

Nikki is going to be staying with me over Christmas and we will have a traditional Danish Christmas dinner: roast pork, boiled potatoes, red cabbage and brown gravy. The thing that we will really concentrate on is the gravy. We both absolutely love it.

It’s made from the juice of the pork fat, cream, water from the potatoes, butter and lots of salt. It’s probably bad for you, but you don’t make it every day. It is a really deep, rich tasting gravy, it’s absolutely wonderful. I could eat it with a spoon.

If I was going to choose one thing from the stall to give to Nikki it would be the blood sausage. I didn't want to try it at first because of the blood, but now it has become my favourite. Nikki didn't want to try it either—in the end I persuaded her to and now she loves it as well. I’d give it to her because it represents our relationship in miniature: we are so similar and completely trust each other.