Katia, Lama, and their children, Yan and Alisa
From Goa to Nepal
It was in India that we first met, and decided to open a cafe in Goa. We made a roof from cheap Indian canvas, giving the cafe a look of a big sunny umbrella. That's how Umbrella Cafe was founded.
The soulfulness of India inspired us to follow the same principles - to take best care of the guests with a whole heart. The cuisine was simple, focused on Russian dishes: pancakes, sirniki, borscht, hodgepodge, okroshka, and so on. The food was not high class, but, as they say, with the soul.
Later we moved to Lama's native Nepal and founded Umbrella Cafe in Pokhara.
Umbrella Cafe Video
Watch this video to get an impression of our cafe's cosy atmosphere and fusion cuisine.
Duration: 40 s
Umbrella is mostly for travelers
There is no trend for healthy food in Nepal, so Nepalese people do not need our restaurant. And still Nepalese are meat-eaters: for them, the vegetarian menu is a wonder. Wandering, traveling young people usually come to Umbrella. Sometimes volunteers come - they paint the walls, help diversify the menu with new recipes.
We stay close to an eco-friendly approach, using bamboo sticks instead of plastic ones, refilling bottles with drinking water, rather than selling it in plastic.
My cafe has everything that interests me.
I have always liked yoga: it is a great physical and spiritual practice, after which I become more calm, balanced and healthy. Many Europeans who practice yoga are not vegetarians. They believe that yoga is a sport, helping the body to stretch. When we opened a yoga hall behind our cafe, we only slightly diluted our menu with vegetarian dishes.
Every Sunday we have a second-hand market.
This turned out to be in demand: many people go to the treks, and when they return, they leave behind their unnecessary clothes and gear. Other people buy those things for donations. We honestly give half of the money to Kopila Nepal, a non-governmental organization that helps disadvantaged families. Often people come in the morning and wait for the market to open.
Another regular event is still in the plans, but I really believe in it. On Wednesdays we want to make a market of organic healthy products and various home-made products. We have already found an organization that we want to help - it takes care of homeless animals. It is quite funny that we call it a market: there are only three tables, we have not yet got enough staff; but I believe in success and further development.
The story of organic products is just a beginning. There are farmers who grow organic fruits and vegetables, but they are hard to find. In the future, we would like to buy only eco-products.