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Your favorite Seattle businesses: Finding friendships at Fleet Feet Sports

When Meg Gayman first walked into the Seattle Running Company store back in 2007, she was nervous. She’d just moved to Seattle a couple months earlier, after grad school. She barely knew anyone. She just knew she needed to get back into running.

Meg had come to try out the store’s weekly Tuesday night runs — 6-mile treks around Capitol Hill. She loved the runs, and soon became a regular. Many of the people she met in those early weeks are still her closest friends. She even met her husband, John, on a run.

Finding this community was exactly what I needed,” Meg said.

Today, Meg is on a first-name basis with Brian Morrison, co-owner of what is now called Fleet Feet Sports Seattle. Meg was one of the people who nominated the store to be featured in The Evergrey. When I (Mónica) met her at the store on Friday, she had just ordered a brand new pair of New Balance 880s. She’s a marathon runner, so she goes through about four of those a year.

She could buy her shoes online, but never does. “I want to make sure they’re still around for everyone,” Meg said, looking around the store. “So I buy my shoes here.

Meg Gayman shows off the Mizunos she got at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle. Brian Morrison, who worked at the store when it was called Seattle Running Company, has owned the franchise business since 2012.(Photo by Mónica Guzmán)

The Seattle Running Company became a locally owned and operated Fleet Feet franchise back in 2010. The local community the store had built, though, stayed the same. Those 6-mile runs still happen every Tuesday at 6 p.m. There are pub runs every Thursday night that end at some local watering hole; monthly trail runs in the mountains; group trainings; regular games like capture the flag.

Brian worked at the store before he owned it. In his 13 years there, he said, he’s seen a lot of new friendships come about because of the running groups. And a few weddings, too.

Meg gushed about the store’s staff in her nomination. Brian and his co-owner, his wife Andrea Gomes Morrison, said they’ve worked pretty hard on that.

“I’m not interested in someone who can name all the bones in the foot, but can’t have a conversation with a person, and get to know them,” Brian said.

Before Meg left, Brian special ordered the brand of energy chews she uses to fuel up on long runs.

“It’s easy to talk with them. They know everything about every product,” Meg said of the staff. “I haven’t gotten that same connection with a staff the way I have here anywhere else.”

Thanks to our promotional partner TownSquared, an online community for small businesses, for helping us get the word out and gather your nominations. Stay tuned for another small business profile in tomorrow’s Evergrey.