Biz Buzz: Dubuque business owner moving store for moms, opening new boutique; health and wellness store reopens in mall; Cascade farmer’s beef business expanding

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

A Dubuque store targeted toward mothers is moving to a new location, while the business’ current location will take on a new name and focus.

MOM•ERELLA, currently located at 241 Main St., soon will move down the block to 240 W. Second St. in the space behind Candle Ready Cakes. Owner Anna Meadows also plans to turn the Main Street storefront into a new boutique, HEY GIRL.

“Everyone walks in to MOM•ERELLA and loves our clothes, but they think it’s just maternity,” she said. “While it technically is, we will have the same kind of merchandise for any shape and size.”

Meadows opened MOM•ERELLA on Main Street on June 11 as a spot for mothers looking for clothes and other items. The space previously was HJ’s Fashion Emporium owned by Terri Meadows, Anna Meadows’ mother. The family also owns other stores in Galena, Ill.

“When we first opened as a store for moms, we were filling a huge gap,” Anna Meadows said. “We also heard everyone walking in that they were grateful to find clothes for all bodies.”

Anna Meadows said her goal is to open MOM•ERELLA in the new space on June 10, with HEY GIRL opening in the Main Street storefront on the same day.

MOM•ERELLA still will have the same products as the current store, though Meadows hopes to have nursing products in the new space.

HEY GIRL will offer more clothing options for all women, Meadows said, adding that suggestions for additional products are welcomed.

“(HEY GIRL) will be a women’s boutique for every woman,” Meadows said.

Meadows also has plans for a third store aimed at a much younger demographic.

She wants to open KINDER•ELLA, a children’s boutique, in the current Candle Ready Cakes space later this year, after Candle Ready Cakes moves to 249 W. First St.

The new store will include items for children up to size 10/12, though Meadows will accept size requests for older children.

“We’ve seen a need for people wanting something that’s not from a big box store,” Meadows said. “So this will be kind of like a boutique for children. When kids grow, that excitement doesn’t go away. We want to provide some unique options.”

Meadows said she plans to hold a joint grand opening once all three stores are open.

“We are super grateful to get to this point so early,” she said of the expansion.

Updates on the progress of MOM•ERELLA’s move and the opening of HEY GIRL can be found on the MOM•ERELLA Facebook page and on Instagram @momerellalife.

Health and wellness store returns to Dubuque mall

A health and wellness store has returned to Dubuque’s mall.

General Nutrition Center, more commonly known as GNC, reopened Monday at Kennedy Mall, 555 John F. Kennedy Road. The store is in the same 1,240-square-foot spot where it previously was located near the mall’s main entrance, according to mall spokesman Joe Bell.

“It’s one of those odd situations,” Bell said of the store’s return. “GNC declared bankruptcy and closed a bunch of stores around the country. Now, they are re-emerging and re-opening locations they closed previously.”

GNC filed for bankruptcy in June 2020 and announced plans to close 800 to 1,200 stores.

The Dubuque location will feature products such as nutritional supplements, vitamins, beauty products and fitness accessories.

GNC is the latest store to fill a space in the mall, with more openings on tap. HomeGoods will open in the spot currently occupied by Books-A-Million later this year, and the bookstore will move to a portion of the former Younkers women’s store.

“It’s very encouraging,” Bell said of the mall’s new tenants. “We have a lot of different potential tenants that we’ve been talking to that are different types of businesses. Slowly but surely, the leasing department is working on those deals.”

GNC’s Kennedy Mall store will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Cascade farmer’s meat business expanding

A Cascade farmer’s mail-order beef business is booming.

Lillie Beringer, owner of Beringer Family Farms, 28031 Goose Hill Road, launched the venture in January 2021. Since then, the business has grown, and Beringer is getting creative to fulfill demand.

“It spiraled like crazy,” she said of her business. “But it’s so exciting, and I’m so passionate about sharing the farm-to-plate story and initiating the local food movement. We’re really just trying to think outside the box on how to get beef out into the community.”

Beringer is part of the third generation in her family to work on the farm founded by her grandfather, William, in the 1950s.

She said the mail-order business originated “totally by accident” after friends suggested she expand the farm’s online presence. After that, people began asking how to purchase their beef.

Customers can order individual cuts of meat for either pickup or delivery through the mail-order beef service, Beringer said. Deliveries are shipped Mondays and available in all 50 states.

That portion of the business recently has taken off. Beringer has more than doubled her output in recent months.

“It’s been about me getting really scrappy figuring out how to move products in bulk,” she said.

In March, Beringer began providing beef to Monticello restaurant The Market at the Tap. She also provides beef to Aquin Catholic School in Cascade, with plans to expand to additional schools next year. She also sources beef to St. Matthias Food Pantry in Cascade and Rural Community Food Pantry in Dyersville.

Beringer also plans to host several events at the farm this year, starting with the first farm-to-table dinner on June 8.

“When I first got started, it was mostly just the beef,” she said. “In February, I was working full-time at an off-farm career, but now I’ve switched to farming full time. I have a lot planned this year to be able to keep diversifying our income.”

More information on Beringer Family Farms can be found online at The farm can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @beringerfamilyfarms.