Biz Buzz: Dubuque auction business finds home at mall; Guttenberg gym gets new owner; Dubuque man launches barbecue business

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Guttenberg, Iowa.

A local auction business has a new Dubuque home.

Bravo Auctioneers, the latest auction business from auctioneer Tim Markham and his family, has set up shop in Kennedy Mall.

Markham is a second-generation auctioneer and grew up helping his father with the family business, Markham Auction Services, which was launched in their hometown of Holy Cross, Iowa, in 1983.

He and his sister, Jenny Gehl, both became auctioneers, and he worked for the family company for some time before spending about a decade auctioning farm and construction equipment for large companies around the Midwest.

“You meet all kinds of people, and I really like the fast pace,” Markham said of the auction industry. “You learn something new every day here.”

In January, he launched the newest iteration of the family business, Bravo Auctioneers, in collaboration with his sister and father, Jim.

The following month, Markham opened the Bravo Auctioneers storefront in Kennedy Mall. The main goal of the location was to house and showcase the collections Bravo Auctioneers sells at its auctions, including items from recently closed Guttenberg business Kann Imports, whose collection included an estimated 3,500 pieces from 70 countries.

Bravo Auctioneers held a previous sale of over 400 Kann Imports pieces, which took place both in person and online last month. Another in-person and online sale is set for June 1 at the mall, and a separate online only sale is currently open for bidding on the company’s website through June 2.

Initially, Markham said he intended to stay in the mall only through the end of his temporary lease in July, once the Kann Imports collection is liquidated. However, the business has picked up another collection and various items through conversations with passersby in the mall, including a ukulele manufactured in the 1920s that will be available at the June 1 live sale.

Markham now plans to reevaluate this summer whether continuing operations in the mall might be profitable.

“If people want us to keep doing this here, I’ll stay, absolutely,” he said. “It’s been great to talk with people and have a presence here to do more business … and bring visibility to the auction industry. It gives awareness that there are other ways to market and sell stuff.”

Bravo Auctioneers’ Dubuque gallery is located at Kennedy Mall, 555 John F. Kennedy Road. The business can be reached at 563-542-2856 or at


A Guttenberg fitness center is under new ownership.

Jarid Grinstead took the reins at Guttenberg Fitness — previously a location of national chain Anytime Fitness — in March.

Grinstead has long been interested in fitness and weight lifting and dreamed of one day owning a gym. When the longtime owner of the Guttenberg Anytime Fitness franchise announced he would sell the location, Grinstead “jumped on the opportunity.”

“It just feels like this is what I’m meant to do,” he said.

Grinstead said the transition has been smooth, and over half of the former Anytime Fitness members have signed up for the new Guttenberg Fitness membership. The gym currently has over 170 members; Grinstead hopes to reach between 200 and 250.

In addition to traditional exercise and weight-lifting equipment, Guttenberg Fitness offers tanning services and a personal trainer. Grinstead says he plans to install a sauna and offer nutritional supplements for purchase as well.

“I’m looking forward to expanding (and) putting in more equipment,” he said. “I’m just excited to keep the members growing and keep everybody fit in Guttenberg.”

Guttenberg Fitness is located at 419 U.S. 52 in Guttenberg. It is open for members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The business can be reached at 563-252-3482 or, or at


Greg Harrison’s first time at the grill could have gone better.

He was a teenager at a family barbecue, and he had received strict instructions from his father to stay away from the grill — an instruction that only served to flame his contradictory desire.

His dad turned his back for a moment, and Harrison saw his chance.

“I had to be sneaky about it, but I got a piece of meat on the grill. It looked so good, but my friends were rushing me,” Harrison said. “I had to take it off real quick before my dad saw, and it wasn’t quite done. The taste just wasn’t there, so I stayed away from (barbecue) for a while.”

Decades later, Harrison got his own smoker and started to practice the art of barbecue one recipe at a time. He experimented with family recipes throughout his 30s and 40s and eventually made his own sauces to pair alongside the various dishes.

He’d always thought about opening a restaurant of his own, but it wasn’t until his recent retirement that he truly took the leap. Now, he operates Greg’s BBQ at 2900 Central Ave. in the space that also houses City Girl Farming Prepared Meals.

His menu ranges from ribs to pulled chicken and beef brisket and more. Every dish is made by hand, he said, and can be paired with homestyle sides such as baked beans, coleslaw or ambrosia fruit salad.

“A lot of my dishes are my grandmother’s recipes,” Harrison said. “They’re really interesting flavors that you won’t find in a grocery store or anywhere else.”

Harrison currently operates the barbecue business on a limited schedule while he looks for a location to expand to more regular hours. For now, he said, he does delivery, walk-in and pickup orders on the third Thursday of each month.

In the future, he hopes to grow the business and create a sort of community hub where people can gather, relax and connect over a good plate of food.

“I want to give the whole valley the pleasure of good barbecue,” Harrison said. “I’m in more of a temporary location right now, but I’m looking to work my way up to a four-day-a-week spot or something similar.”

Those looking for additional information on the business or to put in an order can contact Harrison by phone at 563-845-1936. Both lunch and dinner orders are available.