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The Playbook

In Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, the large two-story black facade of the Metier building proclaims, “Racing & Coffee” painted in white.

Part bike shop, part coffee shop, part fitness studio, Metier opened in the fall of 2015 as the next evolution of Herriott Sports Performance (HSP), an elite cycling performance studio.

Founded in 2009, HSP was a collaboration between two former pro cyclists, Todd Herriott and David Richter. Herriott brought years of coaching and expertise as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist while Richter brought his knowledge and experience as a master bike fitter. While HSP became the preeminent cycling fitness and performance destination in the Pacific Northwest, it failed to become the hangout spot David and Todd wanted. Thus the idea for a new concept, Metier, was born.

Metier features a cafe and retail space on the first floor, above which a light floods into an industrial gym space. David opted to preserve the character of the historic Capitol Hill building by keeping the original wall and windows of the second floor. Downstairs, there is an indoor cycling space for those wet Seattle months.

Since its opening, Metier has quickly become a favorite stop for cyclists in the area. It’s not uncommon to see groups in colorful cycling kits quietly drinking coffee ahead of a ride, or relaxing with a beer at the end of one. “Métier’s business is community,” explains David Richter, “It’s a lot of components brought together to accommodate a forum for today’s cyclist. I want a bike shop to mean more than just bikes. There is music, food, coffee, gym classes, workouts, and more.” As for the cafe, it has its own cult following. David has special attention paid to the quality of the espresso pulled and even brings in monthly guest roasters. Paired with the coffee, the cafe is known for their Instagram-friendly Belgian waffles that taste even better than they look on your feed. Pro-tip: Order the kimchi + smoked salmon waffle and an Americano.

Besides cafe, gym, studio, and store, Metier serves as the official home to the Metier Cycling Club, a cycling team recognized throughout Seattle and the internet by their distinctive, yet simple, orange and white kit.

But as is true with any business or cycling competition, success does not come easy. As David explains, “the weather is fickle at times, some days are slow and this being Seattle, there is plenty of coffee competition around.” But ever the fierce competitor, this does not discourage Richter. On the contrary, it fuels his ideas and passion. At the end of our conversation, David reminds me, ”It will always be a challenge to build a championship winning team every season.”

Photography by David Oh.

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