Biz Buzz: Credit union’s new Dubuque location to open next week; bank branch open in SW Wis.; East Dubuque natives to open coffee shop, bar

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This editions highlights developments in Dubuque; Darlington, Wis.; and East Dubuque, Ill.

A credit union’s new three-story, 30,000-square-foot Dubuque location will open next week.

Collins Community Credit Union will open at 255 John F. Kennedy Road, the former site of Shopko, on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

“The building itself is a prominent, staple building,” said Lindsey Dozier, Collins’ vice president of retail. “It’s in an area of town we know developers are excited about developing, and this is showing growth in the community. We want to do the best we can to serve Dubuque.”

The credit union currently has a Dubuque branch at 4855 Asbury Road, which Dozier said will close at the end of business on Wednesday, Aug. 30. ATM services at that location will continue until Sept. 25. Dozier said she could not say what plans would be for the space after that.

Dozier said the Asbury Road location opened in late 2015.

“We initially started out as a loan production office only, but we quickly realized we had an amazing opportunity to serve the community of Dubuque,” she said. “We’re really excited to be bringing our unique brand of services to the community.”

The John F. Kennedy Road branch will be on the first floor of the building and will be a full-service location. Dozier said commercially available leasing space is available on the second and third floors, a similar footprint to the Collins headquarters in Cedar Rapids.

The new location also will have a drive-thru, something the Asbury Road location did not include.

“We partnered with a photographer to capture real families from Dubuque in different areas that are on a feature wall in the teller line to bring in the community of Dubuque to the new location,” Dozier added.

Collins Community Credit Union will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. More information can be found online at

New bank branch location open in southwest Wisconsin

A Jo Daviess County Ill.-based bank has opened a new branch in Darlington, Wis.

Apple River State Bank CEO Joel Holland said the Darlington location opened last month at 207 Wells St., near Piggly Wiggly. The location had its grand opening Friday.

“We’ve been up and running for about six weeks, and it’s so far, so good” Holland said. “It’s been very well-received in the community. We’re just real excited about the opportunity to have this location in Darlington.”

The Darlington location is the eighth branch for Apple River State Bank, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The bank operates First Community Bank of Galena, as well as Apple River State Bank branches in Illinois in Apple River, Elizabeth, Hanover, Scales Mound and Warren.

“We started our first branch in Wisconsin in Hazel Green in 2019, and that’s done extremely well,” Holland said. “We looked at the Darlington market and thought if we were able to find the right people to run the bank for us, it, too, would be a great opportunity.”

Holland said the first floor of the bank was remodeled, and space is available for other tenants to rent at the Wells Street address.

“It’s a very, very strong agriculture economy in southwest Wisconsin,” Holland added. “That’s our area of expertise. We think we’ll be a good fit in the community.”

The Darlington branch is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. The branch can be reached at 608-776-2772.

East Dubuque natives to soon open coffee shop, bar

East Dubuque natives soon will open a new coffee shop and bar in their hometown.

231 Coffee/Bar will open soon at 231 Sinsinawa Ave., next to East Dubuque City Hall. The business is co-owned by siblings Ali Gansemer, DJ Loeffelholz and Joe Loeffelholz. Gansemer said they hope to have the coffee shop open by mid-September.

“There’s places in East Dubuque where you can get coffee, but for things like macchiatos, flavored drinks, you can’t necessarily find that here,” Gansemer said. “We wanted to bring this to the community, to give them something special.”

The siblings also own local cannabis company River Bluff Collective, though Gansemer stressed that no cannabis or cannabis products will be sold at the new coffee shop and bar.

“We will also have options for kids,” she added. “We want this to be a place you can bring your family into, where it’s warm and friendly.”

Courtney Allen, assistant general manager at 231 Coffee/Bar, worked in coffee shops and restaurants for years before joining the team starting 231 Coffee/Bar.

“DJ asked me several years ago about it, but then COVID-19 hit,” Allen said. “So I suggested we hold off.”

The Sinsinawa Avenue location was purchased in 2021, and the owners then began to think of the concept for the new business.

Demolition work on the building began in March. A cafe seating area will be located near the front of the space, with the bar behind. Gansemer said they also repurposed items such as the chairs from other businesses and plan to hang photos of East Dubuque’s past on the walls.

Gansemer said the business will serve coffee all day and night, with drinks using beans from Jumble Coffee.

At night, the business will feature more of a bar atmosphere with a cocktail menu.

The business also will have food for both dine-in and carry out.

“We want some lighter options for food,” she said. “We have places in East Dubuque with great food, but this will be more paninis, salads, soups.”

Gansemer and Allen said renovating the building has come with a learning curve, but the support from the community for the new establishment has been great.

“I was in Family Beer (& Liquor Store) one day, and a woman came up to me and said, ‘I can’t wait for you to open,’” Allen said.

231 Coffee/Bar will open at 6 a.m. daily. Updates on the establishment’s progress can be found on Facebook.