It just makes sense to run when you’re in Bellingham, Washington. Sitting on the edge of Bellingham Bay and at the foothills of the Cascades, the landscape beckons. It was home to one of the world’s first mountain races, the Mount Baker Marathon. Straight from town, there are over 50 trails accessible, with options that stay around town or head into the Chuckanut Mountains. Seeing Boulder-esque potential, the wealth of outdoor opportunity and desire to cultivate it is what made Steve Roguski want to build a life in this town after having lived all around the country.
Nearly 20 years after that desire took hold, Fairhaven Runners & Walkers stands as a testament to the strength of the running community in the area. This loyalty was brought to mind by a customer shortly after opening, and has been on Steve’s mind ever since, bringing long-term thinking to present decisions.
“It made me think how valuable it is to be consistent, sustainable and reliable--as well as a joyful place to visit,” he says.
The store prioritizes building a multifaceted relationship between every customer and the experienced staff, the store, and the sport. This commitment to the community might be why Fairhaven helps with a few hundred events each year and donates a piece of their sale profits each year to youth, school and shelter charities.
Despite their own generosity, Steve and Genevie Roguski are the ones filled with gratitude. They find it to be the greatest compliment every time someone walks through the door and chooses to shop with them.
“It's easy to count my blessings and feel pride in what we've built together as a staff and as a community,” he said. “It also brings me a good dose of humility when it dawns on me how small a part I am of it all.”