Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Kari Lipscomb
Dan Yoder, co-owner of Heartland Bike Shop, says he has been able to fulfill one of his long-time goals — to have his own retail business.
He says he couldn’t be happier that the business is in Topeka.
“My wife, Irene, and I both grew up in the Topeka area,” Yoder says. “We are blessed with four children and six grandchildren. I have worked in the RV industry for 25 years and dreamed of having a retail store someday.”
Yoder re-opened the doors of the new Heartland Bike Shop with a new showroom over 4,000 square feet, on July 11.
“The family and I enjoy biking and when Heartland Bike Shop came up for sale, we started thinking it might be something to get into,” Yoder says. “After talking with Dennis Bontrager, the previous owner who took the business from the ground level to a thriving business in 19 years, we were inspired. It got our interest moving forward. When we purchased it, we knew we had big shoes to fill because Dennis had experienced anything and everything in this business over the years. He also had a great reputation, and was the number one bike guy in the Tri-County area.”
After buying the business, Yoder moved forward with hiring staff.
“Our first step was to find the right person to run the shop,” Yoder says. “We didn’t have to look too far down the road. Our neighbor Mark Kramer was a perfect fit. He was a leader in the RV industry and looking for a change. It was a huge relief when Mark committed to running the business. I knew it would move forward in the right direction. Mark and his wife, Regina, are a huge part of our success.”
Yoder also put together a solid plan to expand the business.
“After we purchased the business in November 2020, we got the approval to set up in our current garage building,” Yoder says. “We opened that in February 2021. Plans were then started for a new retail store. Construction started in November 2021. We had our grand opening on July 11. We had our grand opening sale from July 14-16. We did very well.”
Yoder was very pleased but also surprised at how difficult some aspects of the business can be.
“Business has been good, but also challenging with all the shortages, price increases, and shipping costs,” Yoder says. “We were new and didn’t know that other side of the business.”
One big advantage to owning a bike shop is the number of people wanting to exercise more outdoors.
“The last two years have really gotten people outdoors,” Yoder says. “They are really into biking, hiking or camping. We have had a lot of customers coming in and commenting on how they haven’t rode a bicycle in years.”
Heartland Bike Shop has a wide variety of bikes to choose from.
“We sell new and used bicycles for all ages,” Yoder says. “We have bicycles for race, comfort, cruiser, trikes and E bikes. We also carry a full line of Frogg Togg rain gear.”
Since lighting for bike riders is also important, the staff at Heartland Bike Shop makes sure riders can see well during the early morning and early evening hours.
“We have a big display of lighting, from battery to rechargeable,” Yoder says. “We also have a full line of parts, accessories and tools for the do-it-yourself crowd. We also carry safety gear helmets and vests.”
Heartland Bike Shop also offers service on bicycles.
“We service any brand bikes, and we also do trade ins and outright buys,” Yoder adds. “We also have a full line of Miller Tech, lithium batteries, bulbs and fans.”
Yoder says he has thoroughly enjoyed meeting the shop’s new and old customers.
“In the last year we have gained many new biking friends, and we hope to add more to the biking family,” Yoder says. If you are looking for a new folding bike for your commute, or the comfort of E bikes, come and check out our new showroom, which is over 4,000 square feet.
Yoder is always eager to meet new bike enthusiasts.
“If you are in the area, feel free to stop in and look around for our in-store specials,” he says. “We look forward to seeing you.”
Check out Heartland Bike Shop at 6125 W. 800 S., Topeka, Indiana or call them at 260-593-0512. They are closed on Sundays.