'Humble Beginnings' at Canvas Cafe
30th May 2019
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(Jen Lyon and Lara Collis are the joint owners and business partners of Country Bumpkin Yurts and The Canvas Cafe, in Great Oxendon, Market Harborough):5cf4d407c6a711625b0007f8

Here Jen writes:

"In November 2015, Lara and I began the journey of setting up a glamping site and café here in the East Midlands. We wanted to create something that combined our passions and interests. We love the countryside, being out with our dogs, being with friends and family, and eating good food.

With years of glamping experiences and having spent a lot of time in cafes, we decided these were the perfect ways to link our love of the countryside and our love for spending time with family and friends. And, of course, the ideal way to enable others to do this too! A glampsite and café is all about peace, people, nature and fun – this is what we wanted for ourselves and for others.


In June 2017, Country Bumpkin Yurts launched. The Canvas Café followed in October 2018.

Lara and I met on our first day of school at Little Bowden Primary and have been friends ever since. With a solid friendship as our foundation we had a strong starting point from which to build Country Bumpkin Yurts. On the business side, we started from scratch. With previous careers in HR and youth work,  neither of us had experience of setting up or running a company. But we have been repeatedly and pleasantly, surprised at how our skills from those previous roles transfer to this context and equip us for our challenge.

Step one was to define our core business values. We were certain of a few things from the beginning; we wanted it local, eco-friendly, and intimate. We have grown up in the area and love it. The endless fields and rolling hills are beautiful and full of walking trails, yet we’re also not far from towns and cities. It’s the joy of being away-from-it-all without being isolated.

You can’t love being in the countryside without wanting to look after it.

Our dream was to create a business that cared about nature and sustainability. We soon geeked-out on solar panels, composting toilets and funky upcycle projects. You will see these when you visit us. It also means we are passionate about serving (and eating!) organic produce.

With our core values driving us forward we moved onto location, logistics and yurts. In our search for the perfect location, we spoke to Kirsty and Angus Clarke at Waterloo Cottage Farm in Great Oxendon. Their farm and award-winning farm shop are committed to free-range, pasture fed and chemical-free meat. This was a business ethos match made in heaven. They kindly agreed to let us use some of their farm space to set up the yurts and café, and we have been welcoming people to this wonderful destination ever since."


If you'd like to find out more about The Canvas Cafe, its wonderful location and menu of stunning foods, and the Country Bumpkin Yurts glamping site, click here now or give Jen and Lara a call: 07375 024672.

(Just say - The Bestof Market Harborough Sent You!)

Better still, why not drop by for a cuppa and a freshly made scone?

Canvas Cafe & Country Bumpkin Yurts
34 Harborough Road (Behind Waterloo Cottage Farm)
Great Oxendon
Market Harborough
LE16 8NA

About the Author

Simon P

Member since: 20th June 2014

Simon Perry - working 'tirelessly'! with thebestof team to drive our 'Buy Local' campaigns and support our very best independent local businesses.

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