Steamboat Springs antique store offers door to the past

Mary Beth Benedetti stands behind the counter at Roots & Roost.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Customers who walk through the doors of Roots & Roost will find wooden skis, children’s toys and one-of-a-kind furniture items that owner Mary Beth Benedetti hopes will become a treasure for those who purchase them.  

“It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember,” Benedetti said of opening the antique store at 1015 Lincoln Ave. “I have things in here that I’ve carried around for 16 years because I bought them thinking that when I have a store, this is what I’m going to use this for.”

The new owner talked about what the store offers and what she hopes it will become as she welcomed customers inside Thursday while a steady stream of rain and wet snow fell outdoors.

The unique blend of items inside Roots & Roost reflects Benedetti’s passion for treasure hunting at thrift stores, flea markets or finding the perfect item at an estate sale. She enjoys visiting garage sales in her free time and has a love for the art of turning something old into something new.

“When I was little my mom and grandma would take me to garage sales, flea markets, that type of thing, and that kind of evolved into my own home, and with my own children,” Benedetti said. “I liked to incorporate those items of yesteryear in my own décor, or have my kids use something that has been repurposed.”

Now she wants to pass that passion along to others with Roots & Roost. She hopes that, with time, her business will be able to find items here in Routt County that reflect our town’s long Western and ranching heritage.

“We really do love this area, and that’s why we’ve been coming here for about eight years or so for vacations,” Benedetti said. “We knew that we wanted to come this way, so I really did want to connect to, and honor the legacy and the history that’s here.”

Benedetti said she has a deep respect for Routt County’s agricultural community, and that she and her husband understand it — they still run a dairy business in Sonoma County in Northern California that her husband’s family has operated for generations.

The Benedettis moved to the area a few years back, and their oldest son graduated from Soroco High School. Their two younger children currently attend Steamboat Springs High School.

In addition to running the store, Benedetti also started refinishing furniture while living in California and turned that into a business that complements her latest venture. She has a couple of items for sale at Roots & Roost that she has personally refinished.

She said she takes pride in giving unique items a new lease on life whether it’s furniture, toys, dishes, picture frames or the dozens of other items found on the floor of her store. Customers can also find items she has acquired from local sources including the door-number plaques from Steamboat’s vintage-1946, long-defunct Nite’s Rest Motel.

Benedetti is thrilled to give a new lease on life to the items, so that they can continue to be used and appreciated. She said every item in Roots & Roost has its own story.

“Even if I don’t know that particular story of that piece, I can look at it and ask what is that piece and what was it used for?” Benedetti said. “Then I can ask how we can use it now.”

She said she wants to create a landing place where items, whether they are from around the country or the Yampa Valley, can be appreciated and moved into the homes — especially the homes of younger generations so they can be reminded of something from the past.

Not everything in Roots & Roost is antique, and Benedetti said the store also offers apothecary items such as soaps, hand sanitizer, and lotions made by her friends who own Los Poblanos.

Los Poblanos also makes a board butter that keeps wood kitchen items like spoons and cutting boards in top shape without impacting the taste of food. Customers will also find Amish wooden spoons, candles and other creative gift ideas There are a few replica items with a nostalgic feel, John Derian matches with a Western theme, puzzles and games.

Roots & Roost will be open four days a week. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays; noon-4 p.m. Thursdays; and noon-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Store hours may vary depending on time of year, and she encourages customers to visit for updates.

Benedetti said there will be a philanthropic side to the business, which is donating 20% of its sales this weekend to the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs to help buy supplies for the upcoming holiday break. She said the business sponsored a tree in the Tread of Pioneers Museum Festival of Trees, and is also planning to get involved with the Veterans Center.

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