Scott Anderson recently opened Triassic on Main St. The store features art, jewelry and creative housewares made from local wood, stone and scrap metal. [Photo by Janet Buckingham / Moab Sun News]

Moab’s Scott Anderson is changing the approach to downtown retailing.

Triassic, located at 7 N. Main Street, opened Aug. 30 and has already enjoyed excellent response from visiting and local shoppers.

“The response from European visitors has been fantastic,” Anderson said. “They love walking into the store and discovering it is unlike anything else they’ve seen. Some have even said it’s the best store they’ve been in while in America.”

Anderson’s vision for a unique downtown store has been percolating for some time. “We have been thinking about a retail space for years,” he said. “We almost moved into this same space a year ago, but a series of events stopped us. When we had the unexpected opportunity to get the storefront this summer, we jumped on it.”

Anderson’s goal was to create a feeling in a retail store that is different than any other space in Moab.

He is most proud of the fact that everything in his store is made in Moab and from Moab. He and his artists use local wood and stone to create beautiful furniture and housewares such as kitchen utensils, bowls, cutting boards, and coasters. More creative household and commercial pieces including sinks, countertops and art pieces also use local woods and stone, but also reclaimed scrap metal.

Jenni Anderson, his wife and store manager, designs and fashions jewelry out of reimagined copper scraps, wood and stone.

The name ‘Triassic” may sound familiar because Anderson has been operating Triassic Tree Service for 10 years.

“We are the only certified arborist in Moab and offer professional, safe and honest services for locals,” Anderson said.

His tree service also provides the raw material for his art.

“We take trees out and rather than dumping them in the landfill, we create something out of them,” Anderson said. “Sometimes they become firewood or wood chips, but sometimes they are transformed into the art you find in the store.”

Anderson estimated he prevents more than 500,000 pounds of dry weight from entering the landfill.

“We don’t even have a dumpster at our shop. All we need is a regular residential can because we re-use what we take out of people’s yards. We are also able to save our tree customers dumping fees and can therefore offer our services at a better rate,” Anderson said.

Anderson sees his business as a circle and wants to inspire others to think about the idea of closed loop business models where nothing goes to waste.

“It’s a model that I can feel good about and people who shop in the store can feel good about,” Anderson said. “They are buying something that is made in and from Moab and has been saved from the landfill.”

He has achieved his goal of creating a different environment in a retail space. The shop has the ambiance of a gallery but without the pretense that can sometimes keep people from walking through the door. Anderson studied Main Street shopping behavior and more often than not saw men sitting on benches while women entered the stores.

“Sure, we would be silly not to target women; they do most of the buying, but everyone comes into this store,” he said. “Men, women, and children all find something fascinating to look at here.”

In fact, there is a “Kids’ Room” in the store that allows children to build their own projects out of wood. An inviting swing and trunk full of wood blocks attract kids (and moms and dads) of all ages.

“I am really proud and excited about this little section of the store and I encourage locals to come try it out,” Anderson said.

His young, energetic staff includes office manager Kandee Degraw and local artist and jack-of-all trades, Johnny Woodruff whose enthusiasm for being in the store is infectious to all who enter.

Between the tree service, the workshop and the store, Triassic employees 12-14 people.

“We want to be a business that locals want to come to because, for one thing, we are committed to being open year round and keeping our employees working year round,” Anderson said.