The Hippo


Jul 16, 2019








Roots Cafe & Catering at Robie’s Country Store

Where: 9 Riverside St., Hooksett
When: Weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Roots at Robie’s
Cafe and catering company open in historic country store

By Allie Ginwala

Last November, Amber Enright took a photo of her three kids standing outside of Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett on Thanksgiving morning. She put the photo in a book and gave it to her husband Josh Enright for Christmas with the caption, “I think this will be our future.”

On Monday, Feb. 29, Josh and Amber Enright opened the doors at Roots Cafe & Catering at Robie’s Country Store, a multifaceted space featuring a cafe, kitchen store, catering business and community hangout.
“We really want to be a community spot [for] people that will just want to come here and eat and hang out with their family and make friends and have a coffee and stock their shelves,” Amber Enright said. “[ We want to] bring back a whole way of life, the way the country store was.”
The Enrights first heard about Robie’s vacancy and the search for new tenants through local media sources. They’d never been to Robie’s before, so they decided to come check it out.
“We’ve always wanted another business, but we were just waiting for the right time and location, so as soon as we saw this we said this was a perfect spot for us,” she said.
The Enrights have an extensive background in the New Hampshire food scene. Josh Enright owned The Seedling Cafe in Nashua for five years before selling it, then the Rustic Leaf in Milford. Amber Enright owned Jewell and The Beanstalk in Manchester for 10 years.
“The approach to each of those restaurants was local, organic, vegetarian, gluten-free, farm-to-table, and we started that a long time ago,” Josh Enright said, noting that they’ll draw from their past restaurant experiences to bring similar vibes to Roots.
Since the building is owned by Robie’s Country Store Historic Preservation Corp., there were certain stipulations the Enrights had to meet when doing the necessary updates to the space, like maintaining the artifacts that line the walls, a part of the store’s history. 
“Most people come for these things on the walls, so you’re not going to take them down. And we don’t want to take them down,” Amber Enright said. 
The couple began the two-month process of presenting the board with their business plan last Thanksgiving, showing their ideas for the space and proving that this was something they planned to keep going for a long time. 
“One of the board’s main goals was we had to maintain that atmosphere of a country store because it had been in their family for 110 years,” Josh Enright said. 
While the previous tenants of Robie’s made it more of a convenience store, selling lottery tickets, cigarettes and quick-stop items, the Enrights are taking the country store in a slightly different direction.
Roots Cafe will make food onsite and serve Java Tree Coffee from Manchester. The Enrights will fill store shelves with with items from artisans they know personally or found through NH Made. 
“This is all going to be arts and plants and crafts and coffee and teas, penny candy, and in the back we’re going to have a kitchen store,” she said. 
Roots Catering Company has been operating out of a commercial kitchen for the past year and will now be housed within Robie’s. Though the menus for the cafe and catering will be similar, Josh Enright said they’ll be separate with the cafe focused on breakfast and lunch and catering on dinner.
“It’s going to be a typical [breakfast menu], but we’re going to put our twist on it — like some of the wraps we’re doing for breakfast and scrambles and poaches are going to be more upscale,” Josh Enright said.
They’ll also have a pancake recipe similar to the one Robie’s has been known for in years past.
Some of the menu items will be very familiar to those who frequented The Seedling Cafe or Jewell and The Beanstalk, he said, since they want to combine everything they’ve done in the past, including his experience working at Republic, LaBelle and Hooked, to bring life back to the store.
They’ve had visitors stop by in the weeks and months leading up to the opening, sharing stories about going there when they were kids, hoping to sneak a peek inside to inspect the changes.
“They’ve been waiting for someone to love this place as much as they have...,” Amber Enright said. “And they can tell that we’re those people.”

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