Ragged Mountain Running Shop, a well-known family-owned business on the Corner that sells gear for runners, celebrated its 35th anniversary last Friday. Opened in January 1982, Ragged Mountain is the oldest running store in Virginia.
Owner Mark Lorenzoni values his store’s proximity to the University, as the location brings in both University students and faculty, as well as other members of the Charlottesville community.
“We love being neighbors with the University,” Lorenzoni said. “I love driving by the Rotunda every single day. I get to go by this place that is world famous, and my wife and I get to work across from it.”
Ragged Mountain currently employs 30 University students — something Lorenzoni said he never thought would happen when the store first opened.
“When we opened the business, business was much slower, but now we have 30 U.Va. students working for us, and we love that relationship,” Lorenzoni said.
It’s also not uncommon for siblings and friends of University students to work and shop at the store, Lorenzoni said.
“By first or second year, [most at U.Va.] have either shopped in here, or [know] a friend who has, or a friend who works here,” Lorenzoni said. “We have many legacies or siblings who come after their older brother or sister.”
Rachel Rose, a Ragged Mountain employee, said in an email to The Cavalier Daily that she believed a commitment to the sport of running and the community is part of the reason why the store is so cherished throughout Charlottesville.
“Ragged Mountain's longevity is such a testament to the Lorenzonis’ passion and dedication to our community and to the sport of running,” Rose said. “Despite the physical growth of the shop, which began in a small, second-story space on Elliewood, they've preserved the ‘clubhouse’ feel that they set out to create 35 years ago.”
Ragged Mountain values giving back to the community and fundraises by having races such as the Women’s Four Miler, which raised over $300,000 for the University Cancer Center, Lorenzoni said.
“We never stopped treating everyone as good as we can and treat our employees and customers really good, so they want to come back and so they feel that they are investing in a community when they shop here,” Lorenzoni said.