Biz Buzz: Dubuque café expands hours, menu; payroll company makes Dubuque debut; area apiary builds up buzz

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and the Galena (Ill.) Territory.

A recently opened cafe is coming into full bloom on Dubuque’s West End with the recent expansion of its menu and hours.

Roses & Berries Cafe opened this spring at 4340 Asbury Road and became an instant hit with customers flocking to the store each morning to order from the French- and Middle Eastern-inspired menu.

The cafe now has expanded that menu — and its operating hours — in response to continued demand and customer suggestions.

“A lot of people said that they wanted to come in but they wouldn’t be free until after working hours, but by then we’d be closed,” said Roses & Berries owner Yaman Salem. “So we decided to open up later because we wanted those people to still be able to enjoy our food.”

The store previously closed at 4 p.m. on weekdays. To better serve the working crowd, Roses & Berries now is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and on Monday. The cafe is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and is closed Tuesday.

To complement the cafe’s new hours, Salem added a dinner menu. Those offerings include dishes such as Norwegian salmon filets, chicken alfredo and shakriya — a beef stew prepared with a traditional Syrian yogurt sauce and basmati rice.

Each dish is prepared by hand with the goal of serving high-quality, authentic meals.

“The dishes are very delicious, and they are rooted in culture,” said Adib Kassas, Salem’s husband and cafe co-owner. “Everything is very authentic, and it just lets you learn about a culture or a heritage through a certain dish or recipe.”

Customers also still can purchase the breakfast and lunch dishes they have come to know and love, Kassas added. In addition to full meals, the cafe also offers a variety of French pastries and drinks.

White chocolate tarts sit side-by-side with cream puffs and chocolate croissants for purchase in the cafe’s display case, or customers can choose a made-to-order crepe or omelet. Any of the cafe’s food or drink items can be ordered to enjoy in the store or to go.

“Everything I put on the menu or on a plate is something that I would want to eat myself,” Salem said. “It’s been so amazing seeing people come in and love these dishes and these recipes as much as I do.”

More information about the cafe and a full Roses & Berries menu can be found online at Reservations also can be arranged for groups of six or more by calling 563-581-0747.

Payroll, HR company makes Dubuque debut

A “hire-to-retire” payroll company has made its Dubuque debut in hopes of leveraging local talent to service nationwide clients.

Honkamp Payroll recently launched its Dubuque office. The payroll company shares some common ownership with Honkamp P.C., a local CPA and business consulting firm, though the two are separate corporate entities.

“Our CPA clients were asking for this service,” said Honkamp Payroll CEO Mike Welbes. “It’s really a better service model to have your payroll and CPA services packaged together, and this lets us do that for them.”

In addition to the Dubuque office, Honkamp Payroll also has a location in North Liberty, Iowa. Chief Operating Officer Michael Moes said the company strives to be a “behind-the-scenes” business partner to assist cross-industry clients with their human capital management needs.

The company offers high-tech features for payroll, human resources and workforce management, Moes said, with the goal of using local talent to serve clients in the tri-state area and beyond.

“The motto is to kind of help folks ‘from hire to retire,’” Moes said. “Whether it’s software to help (clients) onboard new employees, to setting up payroll or health benefits … or retirement and pension plans, we have a system in place to help.”

More information about Honkamp Payroll soon will be available online at or by calling 563-557-9600.

apiary builds buzz through agritourismAn area beekeeper is drumming up some buzz with the recent launch of his agritourism business.

Chase Dittmar recently launched Dry Creek Beekeeping as an agritourism-focused apiary. Dittmar oversees a dozen hives around The Galena Territory and offers beekeeping boot camps, tours and honey tastings at 489 S. Clark Lane near Elizabeth, Ill.

“I think it’s a very important thing for people to be able to learn about bees, not just people who want to become beekeepers, but also for the general population to be able to learn more about bees as important pollinators and not just insects that sting,” Dittmar said.

Dittmar, 19, has been beekeeping for nearly seven years. He used money he received for his birthday to buy his first hive at age 13 after meeting a local beekeeper and soon-to-be mentor through his local 4-H program.

He sold his first jar of honey one year later, and his involvement grew from there.

In 2021, Dittmar started a YouTube channel dubbed Dry Creek Beekeeping. He posted informational videos on beekeeping basics, hive inspections and more for viewers across the country. The channel uncovered a love of teaching that this summer prompted Dittmar to launch his in-person offerings.

“It started as just a few videos, but later on people started approaching me about doing mentorships or wanting more information and I thought, ‘I could really do this as a business,’” he said.

Dittmar tries to offer a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities. The honey tastings, for example, can be scheduled at the Dittmar family farm or set up at private homes, businesses or other venues.

The beekeeping boot camp teaches attendees the basics of the profession, while the private tours offer a more one-on-one learning experience. Once a week, Dittmar also offers a sunset tour where attendees can watch the bees return to the hive after a day of foraging.

“I think a lot of people are surprised that it’s not actually that scary to be around a bunch of bees,” he said. “I think a lot of people go into it thinking, ‘Oh bees, they’re going to sting me,’ but we get them suited up out there and they learn there’s really so much more to it.”

More information about Dry Creek Beekeeping offerings and relevant booking information can be found online at Updates also are posted regularly on the Dry Creek Beekeeping Facebook page.