We want to help you "find your inner farmer".




Our story is really… your story.

Keeping backyard chickens and gardening is certainly NOT about saving money. The agrarian lifestyle of past had physical and mental benefits and provided access to self produced food. Backyard farming can also bring a sanity to the hustle and bustle world we all live in. Find your inner farmer is more than a slogan. It’s the belief that people can emotionally, mentally and physically benefit from the backyard farm and garden lifestyle… and 1000’s of customers later… you seem to agree.

Thank you for helping us grow Urban Coop Company™ into what’s next… Roost & Root®… backyard farm and garden lifestyle products. We’re honored to share a little bit of our (your) story with you.  Again, thank you!



Getting started…

In mid-2013 Dyan Twining asked her husband Montie to build her a chicken coop. Theirs had rotted out after only a few years. Figuring her husband had been a yacht builder and commercial contractor over the last 10-15 years, she figured it would be a cakewalk. After like 5 or 6 tries… he finally built one she liked 🙂 Being a builder, if he was going to make one, he might as well make 20… so he did.  She got hers, and within a week, the other 20 were sold off Craigslist. So, he built like 20 more… and the same thing happened.  The family’s business Urban Coop Company was born. Montie filed the rounded roof design he came up with at the Patent & Trademark office giving their coops the trademark rounded roof that both gave roosting hens more headroom and also allowed the roof to pack into a box better.



The first full year in business…

2014 was our first full year in business and the family quickly learned that spring was “coop season”. After consulting with FedEx labs to learn how to put the biggest possible coop they could in a box, the “Backyard Coop” was modified a little and they also designed a “Mobile Coop” that year.  Sales were booming and they were getting pretty close to being able to pay their bills… but still had to sell a lot of things to subsidize their income.  Everyone in the family was involved in building and boxing up coops in their backyard under a tarp awning strung between two 20 foot containers. They kept on going with the round-top design and branded the coops Round-Top Chicken Coops™.



Owning their new identity…

In 2015 things started getting a little more serious.  The shop was expanded to about 2,200 ft² and design work began on their biggest coop yet, what would become the “Walk-In Coop”. Dyan, Montie and the kids were joined by four other full time workers and that year they built over 500 chicken coops. The kids and mom took charge of the local 4H club and did… you guessed it, chicken projects.  They quickly became known as the “Chicken Family” and began breeding and raising chickens of all kinds. Sales were good, but they hadn’t quite figured out how to deal with the seasonal nature of the coop business with fluctuating revenues and staffing surges. But in for a penny, in for a pound, they fully committed themselves to doing what it took. Sales broke $1MM but costs soared too.  Premium domestic materials and their promise to use local domestic workers cost a lot.



Upping the game a little more…

At this point Urban Coop Company had built and sold over 2000 chicken coops in all 50 states and was the big fish in a very small pond… domestic backyard chicken coop manufacturers 🙂 More competitors had started to pop up selling both domestic and Chinese made coops. Wanting to grow the business, the shop was expanded and more aggressive marketing and sales methods were launched. More CNC machines were purchased and the shop expanded again to over 5,000 ft². The design process was also improved by Montie switching to 3D modeling software from the CAD software he had been using.  This allowed more precise designs, better instructions for the shop, and better illustrations for customers.  They even got involved in a TV show called Coop Dreams.
The unobstructed doorway and wide entry allow a person to just rake out the inside of the coop.



The “start-up” began to stabilize…

With over 4,000 chicken coops sold and in service Urban Coop Company was seriously on the radar screen.  The company enjoyed publicity in the Wall Street Journal and several other national publications. Business was booming (in chicken coop terms) and the shop had grown yet again to just under 7,000 ft². More sophisticated building techniques and management systems were put in place to better manage the larger volumes the business was experiencing. Dyan became interested in Black Soldier Flies and had Montie begin prototyping better devices than what was commercially available. Also, design work began on a solution to one of the nagging problems they were learning about… frozen poultry nipples in their EZ-Fill waterers. No device existed in the market to help with this predictable inconvenience.



Being able to share even more…

It was in 2018 that Montie & Dyan first realized their passion for helping people in Haiti (their son Nathan was adopted after the 2010 Haiti earthquake) and the family’s chicken coop business had a symbiotic connection. They could teach kids in Haiti to raise chickens and they could then eat the eggs.  Montie’s black soldier fly larvae composting bin (now called the GrubCone™) could be used to take waste and turn into chicken feed. Business was pretty flat in 2018… a modest growth, but stable.  Stable enough that some of the non-profit work that the couple had started earlier in the decade could be continued. With their kids and several employees Montie launched The Native Egg Project and delivered a 100 egg per day system to a school in Haiti with a combination of proceeds from the company and gifts from others.



Round-Top Chicken Loft Dimensions

More new designs, and plans laid for a new brand identity…

Over 5000 chicken coops had been built by now and the entrepreneurial spirit in Montie was itching to grow faster. By now, their young twin daughters who helped grow the company were heading off to college.  Full time staff had grown to about 10 and in the peak season, would swell to 20+ workers in the now ~ 10,000 ft² shop. Yet more new designs were launched and with help from others, they expanded their work in Haiti to include tuition assistance under the name Ekolaj. An abandoned launch of a dog bed business gave way to a more symbiotic plan to add backyard garden products in with their coop manufacturing business. A long time friend came up with the name Roost & Root® and designs were developed for several innovative raised garden bed systems that they could sell along with their chicken coops. As a side note, 2 patents got issued for their No-Freeze Poultry Nipple­™ and their GrubCone™.



Urban Coop Company™ becomes Roost & Root®…

Out of their passion for the slogan of  “Find your inner farmer” Montie & Dyan are expanding into what they are calling backyard farm and garden lifestyle products.  These includes their Round-Top Chicken Coop™ designs as well as new Raised Garden products.  Plans to design innovative Greenhouse and Vertical Garden products are already on the “drawing board”. The company still has many of its core 12 or so staff, their son Nathan works in the shop, and Dyan & Montie lead the “back office” operations. Another dozen or so contractors and vendors are involved in materials provision, website work, marketing, and new designs.  In short, your buying from Roost & Root® not only gets you a great product, it supports many families involved in designing, building and fulfilling your order.  Thank you!
Roost and Root Raised Vegetable and Flower Gardens



In The Media

We’re a small business, but feel very fortunate to have received national recognition for our efforts.  Here’s a few of the “in the news” links about our company we’re the most proud of.

 

COVID-19 Message...
March 16, 2020
First off, we want to thank you for shopping at Roost & Root.  We are passionate about what we do and feel a great sense of purpose and pride in serving our customers over the past 7 years. Springtime is our normal peak season. With the CV-19 pandemic, we're busier than ever before with people seeking food security that comes from backyard farming. Dyan and I wanted to share a couple of things about how we are planning to behave while this spring season plays out.
  1. Roost & Root is considered an essential livestock housing manufacturer and is not being asked to close. We work in an open air shop that allows for plenty of social distancing. We have put in place recommended  protections and plan to work.
  2. We won't raise our prices to make more money or slow down demand during this difficult season. Why punish our customers? It makes no sense. We may have to raise prices if we are forced to purchase materials or labor at higher costs.  Our profit margins are not enough to absorb significant materials increases.  We do not presently know of any such supply issue, but can imagine it's possible. 
  3. We have historically been able to keep our spring back-order to 3 weeks or so... we see this going out further and are not going to slow it by raising prices...
    1. Our shop has a peak capacity due to size and can only responsibly  expand it so fast. We are expanding capacity though as we speak.
    2. We want our quality to stay high, so we will only add staff as fast as we can properly train them... and provide for their safety.
    3. We are located in an area where we cannot operate beyond M-F 7am to 7pm.
  4. We have indications from shippers that they have no plans to slow down.  So we do not believe shipping will present an issue.
  5. We plan to continue our policy of fulfilling orders in the order they are received and will not allow for "premium" pricing on orders to obtain a jump in the order queue. It's not fair.
We have close to a 100% on time delivery and scheduling track record on over 10,000 orders over the past 7 years.  We're smart about what we do.  After you place your order, our system will clearly commit your order to a weekly production batch.  We, in good faith manage this promise given the above information and will promise to stay in touch if for any reason we learn that circumstances beyond our control cause us to think we'll miss our promised delivery.

Thank you very much!

Dyan & Montie Twining

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