The Roost has relocated from downtown Springfield to a larger location at 315 Chatham Road, and owner Rachel Bonney said she also shifted the business model from an artist co-op to a boutique.
“It was a hard decision; I loved downtown,” said Bonney. “I had been there for six years, and prior to opening my own shop, I sold out of Studio on 6th for five years.” However, Bonney said that like many retailers, the past year has been a struggle, particularly since many of the state employees have been working remotely due to COVID, along with other large employers in the downtown area.
“If that’s the trend, I wanted to make it easier for people to pop in if they live closer,” said Bonney, who said the new location is also more convenient for her, just a five-minute drive from her house.
The former tenant, J. Parkes, closed at the end of 2020 when owner Jan Parkes retired. “I had shopped with J. Parkes for 25, 30 years,” said Bonney. “I was really said when she announced her closure, but she had been at it for a long time.”
Bonney said she talked to the landlord around the time J. Parkes closed, but decided to wait and revisit the idea after the first of the year. The landlord then reached out to her in February, and after a few months of negotiations, “he offered me a great deal.”
The new space is also significantly larger than her previous location downtown. “I was able to expand, have more floor space and a place for me to work and create,” said Bonney.
Along with expanding to a larger space, Bonney decided to focus on a boutique model, rather than the artist co-op she had previously offered. “I had mixed emotions; I was nervous about making the move in this climate of uncertainty. But I do see a shift where people want to support local more than ever, so that’s a good feeling.”
A soft opening was held on Monday, June 21. The Roost is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.