It's only fitting that a shoelace-cutting should be substituted for a ribbon cutting in celebration of the grand opening of newly-expanded space.
More than a hundred runners and other supporters gathered Saturday morning as Fleet Feet's co-owners, Steph and Carrie Blozy, ceremoniously "cut the shoelace" officially opening the store's expansive new digs.
Steph Blozy addressed the crowd that gathered on the unusually balmy January morning, thanking her family, staff, and vendor partners for their part in the store's success.
Blozy purchased Fleet Feet in 2008, and over time the store has expanded its offerings to inlcude a men's department and has added dozens of training programs for all runners of all ages, abilities, and motivations. Representatives from all of those groups were present to celebrate the space which has now expanded to accommodate all that the store already offers.
Former store owner Alice Gold, who fulfilled her own dream when she opened Fleet Feet Sports for Women in April 1997, was also on hand for the celebration and also addressed the crowd of loyal customers.
Fleet Feet Sports has become the "go to" place for those who want to start running or those looking to find a group to run with. Formal and informal groups of runners meet at the store and hit the pavement nearly every day of the week. Fleet Feet's "spike nights" for high school track and cross country athletes are also immensely popular.
Jennifer Potvin of Anytime Fitness considers Fleet Feet a partner and sends clients to the store to get properly fitted with shoes. "We feel so serviced [by their staff]," Potvin said.
"Together we form an unstoppable movement tearing down the walls of obesity, inactivity, and unhealthiness. We are a movement that not only saves lives, but reenergizes them," Steph Blozy said to the runners.
"To you I dedicate this store – may it be a clubhouse and a starting line for everyone who wants to live fit regardless of their age or ability."
"Now, let's run!" she said, and the crowd headed out to the streets of West Hartford.