COLUMBIA — The laughter and excited screams of children with Easter baskets overpowered the roar of motorcycles at the Freedom Drive Harley-Davidson store on Saturday morning.
This was the second year Mid America Harley-Davidson held an Easter egg hunt for families.
"We're very a family-oriented business, so we like to do fun activities," said motorclothes manager Amy Tuchschmidt.
Although a lot of customers showed up for the event, Tuchschmidt said the egg hunt was open to everyone.
Joann Allen, who does not ride motorcycles, attended this year's egg hunt with her 3-year-old grandson.
"I appreciate them doing these events," Allen said. "It's very nice for customers and it's a way to open up to the community."
Standing in the midst of the crowd of egg hunters, Tuchschmidt noted that the store's business had tripled since last year and said that she assumed the egg hunt had something to do with it.
Allen, who has been a regular at the store's events since it first opened as Harley-Davidson of Missouri, is an example of how they help to build a loyal customer base.
Allen said, "I'm afraid to get on a motorcycle, but if one day I want one, I'll definitely come here."
For motorcyclists with kids, the store had planned a post-egg-hunt ride. However, rain caused the ride to be canceled.
Instead, the organizers included an adult hunt with gift-card-filled eggs. Although the intention was to hold the two hunts separately, Tuchschmidt made a last-minute decision to let kids help their parents.
While his two grandchildren were running around the store looking for eggs, Martin Whitteker, a regular customer at Mid America Harley-Davidson, tried to keep the boys under control by walking slowly behind them.
A customer at the store for about four years and a motorcyclist since 12, Whitteker said he likes the store because of its family feel.
"It's nice to have an egg hunt indoors when it's pouring out," he said while taking off his leather bike jacket. "It's smart."
Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.