One day after a weekend group run the creative folks at Palmetto Running Company (PRC) were sitting around at a coffee shop and realized how many people enjoyed drinking coffee — hot or cold, young or old, any time of the year. They wondered if coffee could also be a recovery drink.

It turns out it most certainly could be and after six month of research and development PRC owners Rob and Christian Fyfe formed Runner’s High Coffee Company and created what they bill as the first coffee specifically designed and brewed for runners and active lifestyles. “We wanted to find an easier and more natural way to help our bodies heal after running without the need of taking traditional pain medications and supplements,” Rob Fyfe explains. 

Pointing out that Runner’s High Coffee Company is not a case of a running store that makes coffee, but rather a coffee company started by runners – “We don’t consider this an expansion, but a new business venture” – he believes they found that product.  

Each of the four original coffee blends – Runners Blend (medium roast), Midnight Run (dark roast), Dead Last Decaf and Cool Down Cold Brew – has natural anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, and are crafted with natural and organic anti-inflammatory and ECS activating ingredients.

Variations of the original lineup are already being brewed and in 2022 they created a new blend, Wellness Warm Up, which contains CBD, a natural anti-inflammatory, and the mood and endurance boosting benefits of Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms. And in April they launched Fast-Twitch, a higher caffeine blend of a dark roast Nicaraguan and Ultra Light roast Colombian bean.

And because the founders of Runner’s High Coffee Company come from eco-conscious Palmetto Running Company and are among the driving forces behind the Low Impact Alliance, there is a sustainability story behind the coffee as well. It’s 100 percent organic, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance-certified, small batch roasted and, of course, packaged in recyclable bags.

The organic coffee beans are imported from Colombia, Honduras and Nicaragua and the brand’s roasting facility is located in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, home to PRC’s two stores in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.

While the coffee – available in ground and K-cups, with Fast-Twitch also offered in whole bean – is currently sold primarily online direct-to-consumer, the goal is to also sell through run specialty shops. 

“We just started opening wholesale accounts this year,” Rob Fyfe says, and the brand is already in six independent running stores on the East Coast. The benefit for retailers to carry this runner-inspired coffee brand are obvious, he points out.

“It’s a unique accessory and most everyone likes to drink daily,” he points out. “That means customers will keep coming back to the store to purchase more. In addition, it is a great conversation opener and the coffee certainly makes a wonderful gift for the runner who has everything.” 

For retailers that are carrying Runner’s High he recommends a free-standing display with multiple shelves. The company supplies information and brewing suggestion cards and he also suggests having a Keurig for K-cup sampling. 

One more merchandising tip: “Serving Runner’s High Coffee at a local group run is a great way to get people to try it and make a purchase.”

As for Rob’s coffee intake: Typically two to three cups a day — two in the morning and a cup of decaf at night.