Nestled 40 miles east of Manhattan in the town of Farmingdale, New York is a single-door run specialty shop that has been a stronghold in the community since 1985.
“I can remember the first week of hoping someone would come into the store,” Runner’s Edge owner Bob Cook said. “One day I did 90 cents because our only sale was a pair of shoelaces.”
Today the stores sales have well surpassed a pair of shoe laces, and the running community has changed as well. In the 80s the community consisted mostly of what Cook would call fast and hardcore runners. Today, the running community has evolved into a sport enjoyed by the masses who are more interested in participation then setting records and fast time, which means more customers flock to the store looking for ways to in involved.
“We coach a group of approximately 200 beginner runners 3 times per year with the Runstart, RunSmart, and RunSteady Programs,” Cook said. “Each program is geared toward completing a specific race or group of races.”
In addition, the store offers informational clinics for Team In Training and the Crohn's/Colitis Foundation. For runners looking for the more casual group run, Tuesday night runs are offered year-round, as well as Coffee Runs on Saturday mornings, and Brewery Runs on various evenings partnering with local businesses.
With so much happening at the store, Cook credits his staff, which includes his wife and two daughters, for being a key component in their success.
“Our knowledgeable employees take their time to engage each and every customer in order to get a proper fit,” he said. “They are friendly, motivating and extremely patient and go above and beyond to make sure the customer is happy with their experience.”
While owning a small business can be challenging with changing retail trends, Cook knows the experience of shopping in-store is something that can’t be replicated online.
“We enjoy what we do and we are excited about our products which we transfer onto our customer,” Cook said. “When a customer chooses to shop with us, it really means more than words can even describe. We appreciate everyone’s business because they are supporting a small business and all families that work here and they are giving back to the local community.”