Roost & Root Timeline

© Image by Roost & Root | Stand-Up Coop Egg Box


Humble beginnings…

In mid-2013 Dyan Twining asked her husband Montie to build her a chicken coop. Their existing coop 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 assumed it would be a cakewalk. After like 5 or 6 tries… he finally built one she liked. 🙂 Being a builder, Montie figured that 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 locally through 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 the 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…

Round-Top Walk-In Coop by Roost and Root

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 “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.


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!


Introducing the Slant-Roof Greenhouse…

Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™
Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ And Our Modular Vegetable GardensRoost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ And Our Modular Vegetable Gardens (sold separately)
Roost and Root Cedar Slant-Roof Greenhouse with Snow

Roost & Root needed some more “root” for their new brand identity so they took their chicken coop building skills and set their sights on a new greenhouse design. Wanting to get away from the round roof limitations, Montie settled on a beautiful sloped roof design. Carefully sourced high end materials and unique ways of constructing and packaging such a large structure into kit form were developed. The greenhouse was pretty much an instant success and started getting snapped up by new Roost & Root customers as well as their loyal chicken coop customers just about as fast as they could make them. Supply and labor shortages from the new post-covid era created challenges, but a great core team allowed Roost & Root to continue to grow.


Supersize the Slant-Roof Greenhouse…

Customer Owned XL Slant-Roof Greenhouse
Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ Ground to Roof View (optional AVM fan bank shown)
Roost & Root Slant-Roof Greenhouse™ Pre-made Hinged Roof Installs From Ground
After becoming Roost & Root we continued to feel the pressure to add more root to our roost 🙂 and decided in part out of utility and customer feedback to supersize our Slant Roof Greenhouse. It was a smart call because for maybe only 30% or so cost you could add 70% more space… and people could always use more space in a greenhouse. This move also forced us to “up our game” in terms of the size of a structure that we could package and ship and the ability to write instructions that an end user (you) could easily enough put together.


Lets Go Big – Heritage Coops…

Model 30 Heritage Chicken Coop
Customer Owned Heritage Chicken Coop Model 20
Heritage Chicken Coop Model 30 Interior
We took our Smart Kit™ concept to an extreme in 2023 with the introduction of our Heritage Chicken Coop Series. After careful consideration to a width that we could span, and still “kit” the parts, we settled on a generous 10 feet wide. We then made the basic concept into 20, 30 and 40 foot lengths increasing eggbox, roost, feed and water capacities as needed. We even included an integrated shed in each model and opted for a beautiful monitor style roof featuring smoked polycarbonate lightweight roof panels. No other kited coop structures even come close in style, size or quality. In homage to our roots and the two vent holes found in our original Urban Coop Company logo and still in many of our coop designs, we built two stylized vents above the door. These coops we’re immediately accepted and coveted by upscale chicken keepers all over the country and Roost & Root had entered the uber-coop market.


Approaching 100 Million Eggs…

The reality of the math of day after day, a chicken laying an egg, coop after coop, week after week and year after year started really taking hold in 2024. The men and women in our shop work very hard to build coops.  And Montie as the designer sweats the details of developing a new product.  We knew we were into some very large numbers after 10 years and wanted to pause and enjoy our labors.  We fed the data to our programmer who developed some real time tools to be able to monitor the sales of coops and the number of chickens each of those coops would hold.  We factored in molting, factored in chicken breeds, ages of chickens, and did the math. As of March 2024 we crossed over the 10,000 coop mark and more than 50,000 eggs a day are delivered to backyards all across America in Roost & Root coops. Carry that math out over the years, and more than 80,000 hens… and the total number of farm fresh eggs delivered into backyards is approaching 100,000,000.  It’s amazing.  We’re so thrilled. Our work has purpose.