Mom and Pop's Country Kitchen opens in La Jara

Photo by Diane Drekmann Mom and Pop’s Country Kitchen recently opened in La Jara.

LA JARA — Retirement might be a blessing for some, but not for Barb Johnson. She retired 3 and a half years ago and began having health issues. Johnson told her husband Steve, "retirement is killing me. I have to get back to work."

Barb Johnson has been a cook since 1974.

"Cooking is all I know," she said.

Originally from Connecticut, Barb and Steve Johnson spent 21 years in Indiana, then decided to come "out West to retire and found their way to Blanca 8 years ago."

Fast forward. Barb Johnson opened Mom and Pop's Country Kitchen on March 1 — Barb's 66th birthday — in La Jara.

"I can do this all by myself," Barb thought. After one day, she called her friend Lisa to help. Barb's daughter, Melody, helps with graphics — the banner in front and the menus.

The restaurant has a bright, homey atmosphere. The hours of the restaurant were originally from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Barb learned there was not much interest in breakfast, but business picked up later in the day. She revised her hours and currently, Mom and Pop's Country Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Monday and closed Tuesday and Wednesday and serves lunch and dinner with homemade desserts like lemon-blueberry cake. There are also more unusual items for the region like grilled cabbage. Barb's specialty is soups, and she usually has several on the menu.

Seniors and veterans get a 10% discount on Mondays. Go to Mom and Pop's Country Kitchen on Facebook to view some of the dishes. The restaurant is located at 111 Spruce St. in La Jara.