Shop Local: Runologie

Co-owner Kimberlie Meeker and general manager Brent Francese of Runologie on Hillsborough street in downtown Raleigh.

Co-owner Kimberlie Meeker and general manager Brent Francese of Runologie on Hillsborough street in downtown Raleigh.

by Mimi Montgomery

photograph by Travis Long

“We wanted this to be a little community for runners where everyone felt comfortable, from the best of runners to people who had never run before.” – Kimberlie Meeker, co-owner, Runologie

Kimberlie Meeker and Brent Francese (above) have been running since they were kids. Both graduates of N.C. State, they remained in the Raleigh area after graduation, kept running, and saw an opening for a specialty running store downtown. “We wanted something that was more of a boutique,” says Meeker. Last December, they opened Runologie, a store that focuses on a one-on-one relationship with customers. Meeker and Francese offer training programs for runners of all levels and work with customers individually to find the best gear for their bodies. Runologie is also committed to supporting the downtown community. The store partners with local businesses in events like First Friday and showcases Raleigh products like Feelgoodz flip-flops and Videri chocolate. “All of us are very focused on downtown and really concerned about how to develop viable retail,” says Francese. “Something that’s not going to be here for five years – but for ten, twenty, or thirty years.” That kind of legacy is a serious goal: “We want a brand that can last that long and that we can pass to our kids.”

Runologie: 401-B Hillsborough St. and runologieraleigh.com