We can go lots of places to buy Mountaineer gear. But if you’re looking for a reason to choose one over another, know this: Mountaineer Zone at University Town Centre is a family-run boutique with a long local history.
Its roots go back to the 1960s, when Fred Fiorini started a sporting goods shop on Pleasant Street. He added WVU fan gear over time and, in 1986, opened a place that specialized in community and university sporting goods—many will remember his Mountaineer Corner at Beechurst Avenue and 8th Street, which operated until 2013.
Meanwhile, Fiorini’s daughter Lisa and her husband, Mudassar Ahmad, wanted to be part of the shiny new development up on the hill in Granville. They opened Mountaineer Zone in 2007.
Mountaineer Zone carries the range of gear. “We have everything from clothing to collectibles, simple everyday things, signage for your office, car accessories—those are huge,” Lisa Ahmad says. The shop orders licensed Mountaineer products in quantities that allow it to customize designs, so many of the products available there can be found nowhere else. The Ahmads support local services, like screen printing, and local artisans wherever they can.
The WVU team enthusiasm on Mountaineer Zone’s Facebook page rivals anybody’s. But some people who visit Morgantown want souvenirs that aren’t Mountaineer-related, and the shop serves those people with West Virginia-themed products. Recently, it has offered craft sessions, and Lisa’s craft tutorial videos have become popular: In a January video, she demonstrated how to make a blue and gold West Virginia candy jar. Mountaineer Zone also takes mail order requests through Facebook.
Now graduated from WVU, son Sheraz Ahmad, a co-owner, manages the store and handles social media. “We’re a family-owned-and-operated business with a focus on customer service,” Lisa says. — PK
1107 Target Way, 304.599.8326, @mountaineerzone on Facebook
photographed by POLLY FIORINI