Powell is president of GoGoRunning, founded by Stephenson, who serves as coach and trainer to some of the serious runners in the Rome and Northwest Georgia community.
“It was something that we were interested in mainly because it was a specialty store on the tennis and running side. We have pretty strong interest in both,” Powell said. “It makes it a little bit easier when you’re going into something that is already pretty established and has a good customer base. It was kind of turn-key.”
Powell said that Brandon Waid, Adam Rogers and Brandon Wood would all remain on staff at the 215 N. Fourth Ave. store.
“We’re really fortunate that they’re around because those guys are really strong on the tennis side and our strength is really more on the running side,” Powell said.
Former owner Grissett will not be a stranger.
“He wants us to be successful,” Powell said.
Grissett will take on a mentoring role for the new owners. Powell calls himself the business partner while Stephenson is more of the product and technical expert.
Mike and Susan Haney founded the business as Just Tennis in 1975. When Grissett acquired the shop in 1977 he changed the name to Just Sports and Tennis.
Powell said one of the main objectives of the new owners will be to add inventory and products that will keep Romans from having to drive to Atlanta for some of their favorite sports specialty accessories.
“There’s some really good specialty stores in Atlanta, but we want to keep them here,” Powell said. “What you’ll see different is that we’re going to start doing the fit process where you get on a treadmill and we analyze the foot and the gait and then fit (a shoe) from that standpoint.”
The new partners plan to expand the running shoe inventory quite a bit, as well as the apparel and accessories lines.
“We’ll expand into some of the accessories for running and tennis, GPS watches, more medical stuff,” Powell said.
He’s also keeping an eye on a proposal to build Courtyard by Marriott on West Third Street near where the shop was located until last year.
“I think it’s important for people to know that we’re not changing the name. We’re not moving anytime soon unless something happens with that hotel development. We’re not planning on changing the staff,” Powell said.