A Seriously Cool, Back-Alley Coffee Shop in Pagosa Springs

Located along the San Juan River Walk, Root House Coffee + Shop is a hip espresso and cocktail bar featuring a bakery and lifestyle shop
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Photography by Dustin English

“Theres a sense of belonging here in the Southern mountains of Colorado that we haven’t experienced elsewhere,” says Ben Dozier.

A few years ago, Ben and his wife, Cristi, ventured from the South to the mountains of Colorado for the sense of adventure and community. “While we love our Southern roots, the mountain soul in us calls us to live adventurously in all we do.

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Ben and Cristi Dozier in front of Root House Coffee + Shop.

Ben and Cristi are the founders of Root Design Company, a design consulting firm “that enjoys great coffee and even better conversations.”

The duo also own and operate Root House Coffee + Shop in Pagosa Springs, featuring a bakery and lifestyle store. “We opened this coffee shop as an extension of our design business to invest in the local community and to serve our clients even better, with a great cup of coffee, of course, and a selection of retail goods,” Cristi says.

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As you open the door from the river front patio, the warm and inviting interiors feature Milan leather chairs, brass lined bistro tables, wood and tile floors, exposed beams and expansive windows, ensuring customers can take in the mountain town and San Juan River.

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An espresso and cocktail bar stands out with its natural wood facades, raw concrete counters and solid steel walls that feature espresso and cocktail specialties. “To us its home, and coffee is just the invitation for you to come and enjoy,” says Ben. “Some call it ‘mountain modern’ and others just call it ‘The House.'”

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“We simply focus on design, knowing that all good things start with design.”

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Root House Coffee + Shop sells coffee by a local Colorado roaster from ethically sourced beans from around the world, organically grown and often sourced directly from the farm. “In all we do, both locally and abroad, we hope to inspire quality, honest, and truthful relationships on both sides of the counter,” says Cristi.

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The drink menu includes liquid delights from cortados and cappuccinos to cold brew, pour overs, house coffee, hot chocolate and tea, to name a few.

Satisfy your cravings with a cinnamon roll with maple espresso icing, sweet kolache or an energy bite consisting of oats, almond butter, honey, dark chocolate, sea salt, flax seeds, and chia seeds. Nosh on savory bites like avocado toast or the curried chicken salad.

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“Root House is amongst some awesome coffee shops here in Pagosa Springs, and community over competition is key here for locals to work together and support one another,” Ben notes. “We simply focus on design, knowing that all good things start with design.”

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The shop also sells laid-back, mountain-cool goodies including graphic t-shirts, patch hats and snapbacks, beanies, stickers and curated gift boxes. “Along with Root Design and Root House, we founded an apparel company that reminds us of where we are and how we got here,” says Cristi.

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Field and Far features the best-selling shirts emblazoned with “Vamos Afuera,” a Root House mantra of sorts. “Translated to ‘Let’s Go Outside,’ it isn’t just about going outdoors, but outside our everyday, outside the expected, outside our comfort zone, to risk the everyday conveniences and follow your heart and take the leap,” she says.

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Root House Coffe + Shop is a back-alley, speakeasy, riverfront gem with thoughtful design and mountain-cool products. With Wolf Creek Ski Mountain in the distance, it’s hard not to enjoy your favorite espresso while working with some of the coolest locals in town.

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“We believe in good design and great people, and put the two together over a cup of coffee and the possibilities are limitless,” Ben says. “I mean, where else can you get coffee and a hatchet?”

Categories: High-Country Communities