Physical Reflections of Routt County’s Past12/08/2023 07:30AM ● By Elainna Hemming
Steamboat Springs, CO - A rustic candelabra adorned with burgundy candles; wooden toy soldiers lined up adjacent to a friendly Santa; an ornate plaid table runner: these are the items that newly-opened antique store Roots and Roost, located between 10th and 11th Streets on Lincoln Avenue, has on display for their Christmas-themed dining table. A place setting includes plates with a Christmas tree design on them, paired with green and red patterned glasses and cloth napkins. Of course, none of these items would have been an original matching set. Their quirky cohesion is a culmination of Roots and Roost owner Mary Beth Benedetti’s meticulous antique curation.
Mary Beth has lived in Steamboat Springs for three years and her antique store will be another way for her to make a lasting imprint on the local community. Mother of three, her oldest son graduated from Sorocco High School, and her two youngest are students at Steamboat Springs High School. Mary Beth’s passion stems from the affordable shopping methods that she learned in her youth; thrifting, flea markets and garage sales were commonplace. She began to see each piece as art, investing in pieces to repurpose and keep for years to come, and eventually passing on those items to the next generation. It’s in the current youth, like her children, that she saw a need for an appreciation of antiques. “I want to be able to connect with the legacy of Steamboat and preserve the history of the area,” she says.
The emotional draw of old items is Mary Beth’s main focus. Antiques interconnect people across generations. As grandparents pick up certain pieces and are suddenly prompted to share a story with their grandchildren, antiques open the door to both teach and learn about the past. It’s this principle that inspired the name Roots and Roost. Antiques remind people to return to their roots and their own family history, but they also create possibilities for “roosting,” or bringing history back into one’s current home and creating a sense of comfort around it.
Mary Beth’s antiques come from all over Colorado, and are sourced from a number of places. Her collection process involves scouring online auctions, digging through estate sales and even connecting with community members. She encourages locals who have antiques they are considering parting with to contact her so that the pieces can be put in the shop. If they’re struggling to part with their family heirloom, she also offers refurbishing and restoration services. Although it’s difficult for Mary Beth to choose just one favorite item, she’s especially appreciative of those that serve a dual purpose of decor and functionality. For example, vintage canning jars can be used to hold bath salts, but there’s also an eye-catching glow to them when they're hit by the light. Vintage books can add a personal touch to any desk space, but they can also be bought simply for the pure enjoyment of reading.
Roots and Roost works closely with many local organizations and events. As a part of the First Friday Artwalk, the doors are open for browsing. They collaborate with the Tread of Pioneers museum to ensure that historically significant pieces go to the right place. And they’ve worked with the Vet Center, as Mary Beth’s is a veteran herself and has two sons in the military.
“My hope is that people can enter the store and immediately find pieces that bring them comfort and the feeling of hominess,” says Mary Beth.