Nestled in Lehigh Valley is a running store that has been in the family since 1984. Originally owned by his father, Bruce Haines was inspired to get into the business because not only was he a runner himself, but he liked the idea of owning his own business and helping other people to stay active.
Haines took over Aardvark Sport Shop in 1995 as his father transitioned out of the business, and to this day continues to stay focused on the stores original goals of helping individuals reach their goals, no matter what they are.
“The running community in the Lehigh Valley has always been vibrant, in part due to a very active local Running Club and the location of The Runner's World home offices nearby,” Haines said. “Now often there are multiple events each weekend, and several fairly large events by local standards, including The Runner's World 1/2 Marathon, St Luke's 1/2 Marathon.”
Haines and his staff keep busy by sponsoring more than 30 local races a year, offering weekly group runs and coordinating training plans for Team Vark. But no matter what events the store has going on, their focus always comes back to the customer.
“All small businesses have unique personalities,” Haines said. “Ours is embedded in the idea of being as supportive of our customers as possible, whether they are trying to win a race, set a PR, or walk around the block.”