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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #149: Nike Employee Store, Greenland

A brief homage today to another New Hampshire place that no longer exists. For many years, my brother worked for Cole-Haan and then Bauer Hockey, both - at the time - subsidiaries of Nike. As such, employees and their immediate families enjoyed admittance to the company store on Ocean Road in Greenland, near the truck stop. I shopped there often, buying running shoes and athletic gear despite the fact that I rarely ran or did anything particularly athletic in those days.

Sarah and I began dating at the end of 2002, and I think I sealed the deal with her when I brought her there as a guest. This was nirvana for an inveterate runner like my wife, and we would spend silly amounts of money there on shoes, shorts, tights, and all the accoutrements. At one point, she openly admitted to me that she was only dating me for access to the store. This only upset me when Bauer was sold to an investment firm, and that access dried up. We were married by then, but a man needs all the help he can get. It also sucks paying full price for running shoes.

Lest there be any who grouse about a non-employee so enthusiastically abusing the privilege of buying discounted goods, I'll have you know I'm an alumnus of the Phil Knight empire myself. In the summer of 1997 (and later for a couple of weeks at Christmastime) I was a shoe salesman (sorry, footwear associate) at the Nike factory outlet store in Hillsboro, Texas. That $6.25/hour (an extra quarter for my college degree) stint is a righteous yarn in and of itself, but one that doesn't fit here because it's not a New Hampshire story. That is a shame, because it's a great story. Maybe I'll write a book.

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