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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Holy Cross, Iowa.
A Dubuque comic book and gaming store recently expanded to provide more space for in-person gaming.
Comic World & Games, 3220 Dodge St., recently added 2,000 square feet of space by expanding into a neighboring suite, which used to be the home of Jayde’s Vapor Lounge.
“A lot of what we’ve done in the past was centered around live play and hanging out with friends and having a good time,” said owner Ben Snyder. “That kind of got distorted by the pandemic for a while. When our neighbor in the next-door unit decided to move on, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to reinvest in the community.”
The additional space puts the store at about 6,000 square feet, with the new area dedicated to a lounge and in-person gaming. Snyder said the business has been working on the addition since March and opened it earlier this month.
“It’s been popular,” he said. “We’re definitely more than stoked to welcome the community back into the store to play or even just to come by and lounge and read comic books, and celebrate all the nerdy hobbies and things we love.”
Snyder said the new area allows for more table space for those who want to meet friends and play tabletop games.
It also was the location of a pre-release event on Friday for a new Magic the Gathering gaming set. Snyder said it was the store’s biggest pre-release event in three years.
The expansion also comes close to a big anniversary for the store, which originally opened on Central Avenue in 1973.
“That means we’re coming up on 50 years,” Snyder said. “With any luck, we’ll be here for another 50.”
Comic World & Games is open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The business can be reached at 563-845-0170 and can be found online at comicworldandgames.com.
Bakery coming to Holy Cross
A bakery plans to open its first physical storefront in Holy Cross this summer.
Owner Amy O’Connell plans to open Sprinkled Confections at the end of June. The building is located at 5858 Anna St. on the south end of town.
“I’ve had a great outpouring of support, especially from the community of Holy Cross,” she said.
O’Connell said she has sold baked goods out of her home for seven years.
She kept expanding the business, serving customers within a hour-and-a-half radius. Last year, she made 50 wedding cakes, plus other custom orders, she said.
To expand further, O’Connell bought a half-acre of open land last year for the new bakery. Construction started last fall.
In addition to continuing custom orders, O’Connell plans to have a bakery display case full of sweet treats for customers. She also plans to have a self-service coffee bar at which customers can make their own drinks.
She said the bakery space also could be rented out after hours for various events, including baby and bridal showers.
O’Connell said she looks forward to seeing the community come into the new shop, and she is excited to continue working on wedding cakes.
“I absolutely love doing beautiful, big wedding cakes,” she said. “And then it continues on. They start with me doing the wedding. Then, I do the baby shower. Then, I do their kid’s first birthday. I have families that have been with me a long time, and it makes me happy that they chose me to be part of their lives like that.”
Sprinkled Confections can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and found online at sprinkledconfections.net.
Dubuque crepe business now on wheels
A Dubuque business selling a variety of street crepes is now mobile.
After two years of selling crepes out of a tent at Dubuque Farmers Market, The Crepe Iron now can come directly to customers with a new trailer.
“We couldn’t grow any more under the tents, so we had to choose to go either brick-and-mortar or get a trailer, and we chose a trailer,” owner Sarah Goodall said. “This way, we can go to the people.”
Goodall said she and her husband, Jeremy, came up with the idea for the Crepe Iron in 2019. She debuted the business at Dubuque Farmers Market in 2020 with her manager, Beth Steel.
“That was the COVID year, and we didn’t think we’d do well at all, but the community really came out,” she said.
That first year, she said, the business started with two irons to make crepes, but the new trailer has six irons.
The street crepes are sturdier, so customers can walk around with them, Goodall said.
The menu features a rotation of crepes, but it typically has two sweet and two savory options. It also always has its “classic” crepe on the menu, which is filled with strawberries, bananas and Nutella.
However, Goodall said the business also will make anything that customers request.
“We say, ‘If you can dream it, you can put it in a crepe,’” she said.
The Crepe Iron trailer will be featured at the upcoming Dubuque Farmers Market.
The Crepe Iron also will make its debut this year at Millwork Night Market and Food Truck Friday in Washington Square. The trailer also can be booked for private events.
Goodall said she looks forward to continuing to make connections with community members as her business expands.
“It’s neat to create something out of nothing,” she said. “It’s fun to use my creative side more, both design-wise and culinary-wise.”
The Crepe Iron can be reached at 563-299-9999 or email@example.com. It also can be found on Facebook and Instagram at @crepeiron.