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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Durango, Iowa, as well as Shullsburg, Wis.
A Dubuque County farm recently opened its first official storefront on the property.
O’Connell Organic Acres opened its farm store on the farm, located at 20595 Asbury Road near Durango, in mid-April, Chris O’Connell said. The farm has been in the O’Connell family for more than 150 years.
“We’ve had people coming out to the farm to purchase meat for a long time, but we never really had a storefront,” O’Connell said. “We had a list of what we had, and we’d get it from storage. Now, we have display freezers to put things in. They can see the product and pick out exactly what they want.”
He said the idea for the farm store came from the need to centralize operations on the farm, as storage for products was scattered throughout the property. The farm also needed more internet access as online orders increased.
“The main part is a warehouse,” O’Connell said of the new space. “It’s for bulk storage, kind of a station for processing orders. The storefront was an added piece. It’s not always easy for customers to get to the farmers market, and some people don’t want to pay for delivery or shipping.”
The storefront is the latest move as the farm’s reach has expanded throughout the area. O’Connell said the farm was certified organic in 2003 and began direct sales of partial animals around 2007.
O’Connell Organic Acres brought 100% organic, grass-fed beef to the Dubuque Farmers Market in 2011, adding pasteurized pork and chicken in subsequent years. The farm started offering online purchases in 2019.
“In 2011, when we really started focusing on direct marketing of grass-fed beef to the community, there was not a lot of that available at the time,” O’Connell said. “We were passionate about raising beef that way. We saw a need.”
He added that the farm still will be at the farmers market and continue taking online orders. Customers can have products delivered or schedule a pickup from either the farmers market or farm store.
“Currently, we just have the meat (at the store),” he said. “Once the growing season gets going, we might have some limited amount of produce, but that’s not our focus. The main focus is the meat.”
O’Connell Organic Acres’ farm store is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. More information and online ordering is available at oconnellorganicacres.com.
Southwest Wisconsin man starts e-bike rental business
A new e-bike rental business recently opened in Shullsburg.
Mike Byrne held the grand opening of E-Rental Adventures on Saturday, with rentals starting the next day. The business is located at 20366 Lafayette County A.
“The reason people quit riding bikes around here is the hills,” Byrne said. “E-bikes (electric bikes) kind of eliminates that part of it. I wanted to get that out into the area.”
Byrne said he first became familiar with e-bikes in January after renting one while on vacation in Florida, marking his first time riding a bike in about 35 years.
“We push tourism in this area all the time, but there’s never anything to get them to the shopping or historic areas,” he said. “There’s no activities. So I thought, ‘Why not try bikes?’”
Byrne said he is starting out with six bikes to rent. He noted that he is specializing in bikes with fat tires, which allow riders to better navigate different surfaces and help with balance.
“I also equipped all the bikes with suspension seatposts to give extra comfort,” he added. “I also have super thick and wide bike seats for comfort. It takes away the negative parts of biking.”
Bikes can be rented by the hour, for a half day, for a full day or for the week. Byrne also is selling e-bikes at a reduced rate, as well as a limited supply of bike merchandise and clothing.
More information on E-Rental Adventures, including booking information, can be found online at erentaladventures.com or facebook.com/erentaladventuresllc. Bikes can also be rented at rentabikenow.com.
Dubuque pet groomer opens business
A Dubuque pet groomer has opened her own business after working in the community for years.
Natalie Hazewinkel owns Club Pawsh Grooming at 709 Rhomberg Ave., in the former home of Paw Prints Pet Salon.
“I just love working with animals,” Hazewinkel said. “It’s so much fun. I love seeing the transformation of how cute they look when they leave. I love seeing the pet parents happy when they see their fur babies.”
Hazewinkel got her start in grooming at Urban Hound, where she initially job shadowed before being offered a position in 2018. She worked at Urban Hound until last fall, when the groomer sold the business and Hazewinkel decided to open her own place, buying the Rhomberg Avenue building in November.
“I like the freedom,” she said of owning her grooming business. “It’s not too much different than my schedule at Urban Hound. I’m just the boss now and can make my own schedule.”
Club Pawsh Grooming offers a full range of grooming services, as well as de-shedding treatments and color work. Hazewinkel also does walk-in nail trimmings.
In addition to Hazewinkel, Toni Shireman works as an independent contractor in the grooming space.
“We’re willing to do just about anything our clients want,” Hazewinkel said.
Club Pawsh Grooming is open by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The business can be reached at 563-599-2989 and found online at clubpawshdbq.myonlineappointment.com and on Facebook.
Appointments with Shireman can be made by calling 563-580-3918, and more information is available online at bit.ly/3VBIPq0.