#HomeGrownStories – Ryan King
Ryan King is a Piqua High School graduate who has lived in Piqua his entire life. He and his wife, Amanda, also a PHS graduate, share a passion for running. In December 2013, Ryan and Amanda opened a running store called Can’t Stop Running Company (CSRC) on Main Street in downtown Piqua. CSRC received a lot of community support as it was opening and the business continues that spirit of support by offering many community running and walking events. The store features running shoes, clothing and gear to both improve a runner’s pace and help soothe sore muscles. Ryan was recently interviewed for our Home Grown Stories campaign.
On living in Miami County:
I have lived in Miami County my whole life, for 36 years. Both my family and Amanda’s–my wife–family are from Piqua. It’s a large part of the reason we live here: our roots are here. I probably would’ve considered moving elsewhere, particularly someplace with mountains or water, but we found even before starting our business that this a good place for raising a family. We have that support, we have our friends, our life is here so it’s easy to stay.
On bringing a running store to Piqua:
Amanda and I are both runners and have that passion for running. We had a little bit of an opportunity from an entrepreneurial standpoint; we felt like a running store was the kind of business that could be a successful small business. The decision to open the store in Piqua, ironically, had something to do with Joe Reiser. I was running with him one day and I was trying to decide where the store is going to be and how we’re gonna do it. He encouraged us to be in the town that we were established in. To be in the town that we’re passionate about. We’ve found that being part of the community has been an important part of our success. I wouldn’t want to do it from an outside perspective. We’ve considered opening a second store or moving someplace else. We always come back to wanting to do business with people in Miami County.
On community support and how CRSC is involved in the local running community:
The surrounding area, including the Piqua community, has responded well to our store. A significant part of our business is from outside of Piqua, but it’s still very local. We have customers in this county and neighboring Shelby County. I would definitely say that we’ve been very well supported by our local community and it pays for us to be engaged in part of the community for sure.
We’re continuing to grow our community events and programs that are free of charge. We’re getting ready to establish a free youth running club this summer for any K-6 graders that want to get involved and be active. We try to promote plenty of healthy activities within the community; whether it’s our group runs that we do or the races that we’re involved with or put on. We work with a lot of organizations to help them with their fundraisers by timing [a race] or event promotion. There’s rarely a day that there isn’t somebody coming in the store who is looking for a donation for a local civic organization in town or even outside of Piqua.
Why he loves Miami County:
When we were deciding to do business here what it really came down to is the fact that I want to do business with my friends. That’s what Miami County is for us. This is our home, this is where we know the people, we know the personalities and we know the likes and dislikes of the people. We’ve noticed when working in partnership with stores in major metropolitan that the community isn’t as connected as this community is. Our connection is a key thing. We have a stronger connection to the people who are in our shop, the people that are doing business with us and the people that are out there accomplishing their goals. It’s very rewarding, with running particularly, to see people accomplishing their goals. I just feel like we’re far more engaged in that process with them than if they were one of many in a larger community. There are other places we could go that might be more profitable or have higher foot traffic or bigger opportunities, but this is where our heart is.
His favorite Miami County spots:
One of the big assets that Miami County has is the recreation paths that we have. We spend a lot of time on the path and it’s a strong asset not just in Piqua, but also in Troy and Tipp. We enjoy a lot of the local eateries ourselves and we try to support specifically the small business ones. That’s the atmosphere that we’re looking for and enjoy in Miami County. We have that ability go someplace whether it’s a community event or it’s a restaurant or a place of business; you’re probably gonna know the people you see when you walk in and that’s important to us.
Follow our storyteller and interviewer, Courtney Denning, at ThisOhioLife.com.