Lara and Jen the faces behind the business.

Meet the Team - Lara and Jen

We know that behind every small business is a small business owner, Country Bumpkin Yurts is no different…in fact, there are two of them. Lara and Jen opened the business in 2017 and now run three luxury Mongolian yurts and a cosy and welcoming onsite café.


Moving into 2020, will see Lara and Jen running the business in its third year but they have been a bit shy about the people behind the brand, so we interviewed them to find out a little bit about them both and to find out their motivation for their business.

Meet Lara and Jen, the team behind Canvas Café and Country Bumpkin Yurts

Meet the Team Lara and Jen


What is your favourite coffee being served in the café?


We use a local Fair Trade and Organic Peruvian Coffee from Well Roasted who are based in Desborough. The beans have a good flavour and aroma and a very pleasant after taste.


What is your favourite dish on the café menu?


Jen likes the pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. Bacon from Waterloo Cottage Farm, next door, and organic maple syrup. Lara’s favourite is the halloumi burger. The manchet roll (like a cross between a brioche and dinner roll) from Hambleton’s bakery in Oakham and Market Harborough and the mushrooms from Pearmans Farmshop in Leicester make it so delicious!


Favourite cuisine?


Italian all the way! A linguine dish always goes down well.


Favourite other café apart from yours?


Benets Café in Cambridge. It does delicious coffee and pastries and it overlooks King’s College Chapel so has a brilliant view.


What would be your dream home?


Cute cottage on the outside but modern and minimal on the inside – with a big kitchen for cooking and a big garden for the dog.  


What is your best weekend destination?


Country Bumpkin Yurts, obviously, but we are a little bit biased. We like the peaceful countryside location. A weekend away for us is all about relaxing and restoring our souls and we need nature to do this. It’s one of the reasons we set up the business.


What 2 superpowers you would choose?


Well between us it would be the ability to pause time – to savour precious moments, and to get more done when we need to (or to sleep in a bit longer…). Being able to fly, that would also be fun.


How did you both meet?


Jen responds to this one “Lara and I met on our first day of school at Little Bowden Primary school. She was the first person that I remember meeting and we have been friends ever since. I look up to Lara. She is the most beautiful woman I know, both on the inside and outside. She is such a generous and kind-hearted person who always thinks of others. She inspires me to be a better person. I love her dearly”.


If you could compare yourself to an animal what would it be and why?


Jen would say a cocker spaniel dog. “People often tell me that Poppy (my dog) and I are alike – which I am never quite sure how to take – but I like to think that it’s because we are both affectionate and energetic (and a little odd at times)”. We love our animals here and encourage you to bring your furry friends along to enjoy the countryside and all the adventure they seem to love while visiting.  


Do you have a favourite book?


The Hobbit. With a love of stories about journeys and adventures, this book will always remain a firm favourite.


We couldn’t leave out the Christmas questions, so here goes…


How will you be spending Christmas?


Resting and recharging the batteries. We will both spend our day with family. This year we have decided to close the Canvas Café over the whole Christmas period so that we can spend some quality time with family. It’s been a busy but perfect few years.


Do you have a favourite Christmas song?


I’m not sure we should admit this, but anything by Michael Bublé – street cred has just gone downhill but listening to his album means the start of Christmas for us.


Your best Christmas film?


Arthur Christmas


Favourite local shop for present buying?


Both are local shops in Market Harborough and it’s The Growing Tree for presents for the little ones with their beautiful and high quality toys and Heaven at Home for the adults. They’ve got all sorts of pretty things.


Thank you to you both for giving us an insight into the team behind the business and finally, one last question, sum up what your café means to you in 20 words.


A relationship hub and unique space promoting community and wellbeing. It’s more than a café and yurts, it’s our sanctuary.


Lara and Jen have loved sharing 2019 with their wonderful customers and hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year. They look forward to making new friends in the New Year and catching up with old ones throughout 2020.