Biz Buzz: Catering business taking over airport restaurant; new owners save Kieler gym; firm enjoys new digs downtown

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we highlight business developments in Dubuque and Kieler, Wis.

A business that has operated in the region for a dozen years hopes to reach new heights by taking over the bar and restaurant in Dubuque Regional Airport.

All on Board with Life’s a Feast will open next week within the airport, marking the beginning of a new chapter for the growing business. The latter half of the business’s name reflects the original business that couple Angela and Carolyn Linton-Canfield launched in 2009.

Life’s a Feast has spent the past dozen years serving food to area residents in a variety of ways, including catering large events such as weddings and providing personal chef services in clients’ homes.

The owners are eager to serve residents flying in and out of the airport, but they realize that this business alone will not sustain the operation.

Life’s a Feast is the exclusive caterer for the airport’s private jet service, and the Linton-Canfields hope to serve events and gatherings held at the airport. On top of that, they are hopeful that customers will make the drive to get a meal there, including those who work in nearby industrial parks.

“People drive all over this area to go to places and get a meal,” Carolyn said. “Because of the reputation we have built for the last 12 years, we are really hoping that people come out to see us and realize we have a lot to offer.”

The business will be open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, serving breakfast and lunch. Menu items include breakfast burritos, croissant sandwiches, burgers and a club sandwich.

“As we move forward, we will continue to evolve,” Angela said. “We eventually plan to start serving dinner and hope to open up on the weekends.”

Life’s A Feast will continue to offer its catering and private chef services outside the airport. The business can be reached at 563-845-0324.


New owners have taken the reins at a Kieler gym, saving the business from a potential closure in the process.

Grant Kunkel and his wife, Chelsey, became owners of Tristate Fitness at the end of September, according to Grant. He said they purchased the business on the same day it was poised to close if a new buyer had not come along.

“Everyone who comes in has been thanking us,” said Kunkel. “They are just really grateful we have kept it open. The reception has been so great.”

Grant and Chelsey already had a connection to the gym before buying it. They had been members there for the past three years and came to realize the important role it played in the community.

“It gives people a place to exercise without having to drive out of town,” Grant said. “And for the younger kids, it’s a gathering place where they can hang out together.”

The Kunkels hope to purchase new workout equipment in the near future. Eventually, they hope to expand the gym to provide space for classes and possibly a basketball court.

Tristate Fitness is open to members 24 hours per day. It is located at 3674 Prism Lane and can be reached at 608-778-3860.


A local firm offering architectural and engineering services is settling into a new location in a vibrant part of downtown Dubuque.

Origin Design moved into its new home at 137 Main St. in the late summer, according to President and CEO Pat Ready. The firm occupies the bulk of the building’s first floor and the entirety of the second and third, with more than 50 of its employees working out of the space.

Company leaders believe the new digs are raising the firm’s level of exposure.

“The increased awareness we are seeing has been great,” said Brenda Ritt, director of marketing. “It has been great being in one of the most vibrant areas of town. Between that and the rebranding, we are certainly getting noticed a lot more.”

Formerly known as IIW, Origin Design adopted its current name earlier this year.

Origin, which previously was headquartered on Pennsylvania Avenue in Dubuque, conducted renovations on its new home before moving in.

“The building has some really fantastic bones, but we wanted to put our own stamp on it as well,” Ready said.

Extensive work was conducted on the first floor, which includes a vast gathering space where co-workers can grab lunch, collaborate on projects or take in a view of Main Street.

Origin shares the building with Platinum Supplemental Insurance, which occupies the upper floors of the structure.

Origin employs about 75 people overall. In addition to its Dubuque operations, it has offices in Shullsburg, Wis., and Davenport, Iowa. It can be reached at 563-556-2464.