Dear Fleet Feet Family -
Today has been hard to envision. People talk about retiring like some off in the distance bucket list item; "yea, I want to see a polar bear in the wild one day." And yet here we are about to turn over our keys to the store to our long time General Manager, Dusty Robinson, and his wife Staci, our former apparel buyer who now stays home with their 3 boys.
Owning Fleet Feet J Street means we hear all the stories..Tom Peterson elatedly coming in to tell Pat & Dusty that he qualified for Boston (at age 68!) and to offer his gratitude for their footwear and gait advice; Laura Near asking for nutrition advice as she prepared for her first ultra-run (she wasn't a runner 5 years ago); and a tearful "It's going to be a downpour for California International Marathon, what are we going to wear?" (ok, that was me & my friend Nina Bonfield). Whether at the store, in our front yard in Land Park, at Raley's in a grocery line, or boarding a plane in SMF, for 20 years people have shared their stories, asked Pat for guidance and cried on his shoulder (literally sometimes) when talking about how running changed their life.
This is what happens in a family-owned, community-based running store and we wouldn't have it any other way. Next time you think it might be easier to just order on Amazon, this is your gentle reminder that supporting your local businesses is an important part of building this community.
But running a 7 day a week operation is a young person's game and Dusty and Staci are ready to take on this mission. Just as you saw our son Conor along with our Labradors at the store over the years, you will soon see the Robinson boys helping at expos and hanging out in the back of the store (Caleb is 9, Bode 5, Travis 1). Dusty and Staci have been part of our operation for a very long time so while we'll be off hiking trails, they will be passionately running the flagship store of this nearly 170 store franchise. Our wonderful staff will all remain in place, so don't worry - Jeff, Lisa, Bob, Diane, Shay and the rest of the crew will still be here to help you. So, to our wonderful customers of the last 20 years, we are eternally grateful to have served you and hope you continue to share your stories with us. We can be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love, Jan and Pat Sweeney