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Two Rivers Treads part of the Small Business Revolution

By Staff | Jun 26, 2015

Two Rivers Treads is one of 100 small businesses featured as part of the Small Business Revolution project ( “http://www.smallbusinessrevolution.org”>www.smallbusinessrevolution.org) . We hope to bring awareness to the value of all small businesses. Five years ago we started the Minimalist Revolution of “more you and less shoe” and we have not drifted from our original mission of teaching you to move better and get stronger and healthier. This was from our original press release in 2010: A specialty running and walking shoe store encouraging people to go barefoot? You must be kidding, right? Actually the new Two Rivers Treads Center for Natural Running and Walking is doing just that…almost.

We were the first store selling only flat shoes and now over 20 stores in the US and abroad share our message as flagship store of Natural Running Center (www.naturalrunningcenter.com). When we opened there were 3 brands selling shoes that were acceptable to sell to customers, now every major brand makes flat shoes and new small brands have emerged as leaders in the movement.

We posted this in our first message to the public and have only firmed up this foundational truth after five years of working with people: “The human foot is the most amazing technology that will ever be invented for proper walking and running. So the shoes we carry let the foot behave like a foot and regain much of the strength and function that is lost to improper footwear.” Science and experience is now validating our principles. Just last week the New York Times had on article on the perils of high heels at work. (well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/science-weighs-in-on-high-heels/)

The Small Business Revolution is a year-long documentary project that will tell the stories of 100 small businesses across the country throughout 2015, including Two Rivers Treads. Our story will be posted on line later in the summer. We desire for this story to bring recognition to all small businesses in our region. Every local citizen should reflect on the value of towns like ours and imagine what they would be like if Main Streets went away.

Behind every successful small business is a vision for something that could be done better and a community that benefits from that vision. Small businesses play an increasingly important role in bringing people together. Hands-on customer service and the deep community involvement people find in the small businesses they frequent make all the difference. We are grateful to our customers, employees, and partners who help make Two Rivers Treads and healthy living part of us.

There’s nothing “small” about small businesses after all, they make up half the nation’s economy. And in an era of big data and massive conglomerates, there’s a growing movement to make business more personal. The Small Business Revolution will bring awareness to the critical role small businesses play in the fabric of our communities.

So when support you Two Rivers Treads and other small businesses you are supporting local causes. When was the last time the big-box store hosted or sponsored a local event, supported countless local charities with prizes and auction items, donated hundreds of children’s shoes to promote natural foot health, or taught principles of health to anyone coming through the door?

We are proud also to give ongoing support to dozens of community races, events, and charities through sponsorship, contributions of prizes, sharing of equipment, logistics help, and volunteering. What has made me really happy as an owner is that several of our young employees have gone on to professional health care careers, military academies, and Division 1 College Scholarships. They are the Revolution as they sport low profile walking and running shoes in work and sport as well as a flat military boot I helped develop. Two of our former employees insisted on wearing their shoes at a Nike sponsored school despite skepticism of coaches and teammates. Both are remaining healthy and blazing trails in collegiate running with the amazing Brandon Doughty achieving 2 time All American status.

Our against the grain work and story has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Outside Magazine, Running Times, Runners World, Air Force Times, the Washington Post, JAMA, West Virginia Living, and other medical and media outlets. The “press room” page on our website has the history of our store.

With every story we wish to bring attention to our town. This from the 2011 New York Times Magazine article titled “The Once and Future Way to Run” by Best Seller author Chris McDougall : “Here” is Two Rivers Treads, a “natural” shoe store sandwiched between Maria’s Taqueria and German Street Coffee & Candlery in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which, against all odds, Cucuzzella has turned into possibly the country’s top learning center for the reinvention of running. (www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/running-christopher-mcdougall.html)

All summer Two Rivers Treads will host after hours assessments and conditioning sessions focused on teaching proper movement and progression. Classes are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 6:30. All ages and abilities welcome and Thursday focus is youth. More details under the tab “clinics” at www.tworiverstreads.com