Biz Buzz: Dubuque bridal boutique celebrates 10 years; Jo Daviess County manufacturer opens storefront; new barbershop debuts in Manchester

business tips sought

Do you have an interesting story idea or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at or 563-588-5673.

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

A Dubuque bridal boutique is celebrating 10 years in the community.

Zazou’s Bridal Boutique & Tuxedos, 955 Washington St., No. 104, officially reached the milestone anniversary this year. Owner Jodi Stricker said her team surprised her with a cake June 14 to mark the occasion, and they plan to have a bigger celebration in the fall with past and current clients when the busy wedding season slows down.

“When we opened the store, I had been in over 20 weddings at the time,” Stricker said. “My friends and I, we wanted to have more fun, I think, and bring a more family atmosphere and bring enjoyment in the planning process. … When you treat people how they want to be treated, it’s amazing how different the experience can be.”

Stricker said the bridal boutique was the first business to open in the revitalized Millwork District, with a soft opening in the spring of 2013. She said she had been close to buying a different building before having a conversation with developer John Gronen, who was working on the Washington Street building at the time.

“My grandfather worked at the Dubuque Packing Co.,” Stricker said. “There was something about being part of restoring the history of downtown Dubuque. I knew it was the right fit for me. Instantly, it felt like home.”

Zazou’s — which Stricker said is named for her “first love,” a toy poodle who was alive when the store opened — since has grown into a well-known name in Dubuque, with brides and high schoolers looking for prom and homecoming dresses flocking to the store for their big days.

“We’ve had brides that have since had their first child and come in for a First Communion dress,” Stricker said. “It’s mind-boggling at this point. Pretty soon, we’re going to be going from First Communion to prom to wedding.”

Stricker said she credits her team at the bridal boutique for helping make the business a success over the years.

“I have an amazing team at Zazou’s,” Stricker said. “I’m so fortunate and so blessed. The more we work together, the more blessings come to Zazou’s.”

Zazou’s Bridal Boutique & Tuxedos is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The store can be reached at 563-213-2049 and found online at

Warren wood-fired oven manufacturer opens storefront

A wood-fired oven manufacturer with a facility in Warren, Ill., recently opened a storefront.

WPPO opened a storefront in June for its products at 400 S. Railroad St., the same location as its manufacturing facility. The company — which moved operations from Freeport to Warren in October 2021 — makes and sells wood-fired ovens and accessories.

“We recently opened up the storefront in the warehouse,” said Lydia Smith, WPPO marketing director. “We sell throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, but something we never focused on before was promoting locally. We thought it would be really nice to open a storefront for them.”

Smith said many people in the area are curious about WPPO, and the storefront provides an opportunity for them ask questions if they are unfamiliar with wood-fired ovens. She added the store will hold an open house on Aug. 5, with demonstrations, kids’ activities and a barbecue competition.

She said the store sells accessories for the ovens, including equipment needed to cook food such as pizza, meat and vegetables.

“It’s a super great investment for people, including when they have power outages,” Smith said. “It’s definitely nice. You can always use it as long as you have wood around.”

WPPO’s storefront is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The business can be reached at 815-745-1021 or via email at

New barbershop opens in Manchester

A new barbershop recently opened in Manchester.

Traditions Barbershop opened June 26 at 113 E. Main St., across from Castle Theatre. The space previously was the home of The Bread Basket before the restaurant moved to 101 S. Franklin St.

“It’s been nuts,” said owner Josh Smith. “I think (on opening day) I barely had enough time to eat. Everybody in Manchester is so great.”

Smith started cutting hair before he left for military training in South Carolina, when he was thinking of a future career.

“I bought my first hair clippers and gave myself a haircut, which turned out awful,” he said. “But I took the clippers down to South Carolina with me to train, and I gave my first two haircuts down in the barracks.”

Two months after his military training ended, Smith went to barber school. He graduated in May after a little over a year of schooling.

“I like having a place for men,” he said. “I like to make guys feel good about themselves. When you get a haircut, you feel good.”

Smith is currently the only barber working in the shop, though he has another chair for someone else in the future. Smith said he currently is operating primarily by appointment, but he would like to accept walk-ins, too.

Smith said he offers both classic and more modern cuts, such as fades and tapers, as well as work on beards. He also offers a straight-razor shave to the back of the neck after every service.

“(Traditions Barbershop) just sounded right,” he said of the name. “It’s kind of an old-school look. I want to keep the older traditions of barbering alive.”

Traditions Barbershop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The barbershop can be reached at 319-327-3273, and more information can be found on Facebook.