Biz Buzz: Dubuque fitness gym moves to bigger location; new Platteville car wash planned; mother-daughter duo open discount store in Dyersville

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Biz buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque; Platteville, Wis.; and Dyersville, Iowa.

The Dubuque location of a fitness facility has moved to a new, larger space.

Bar Raising Fitness opened its new location last week at 2330 Rockdale Road, across the street from Happy’s Place. The facility previously was located at Kennedy Mall.

“We over doubled in size,” said owner Brandon Hogan. “We have all-new everything in here, compared to where we were previously.”

The new athlete and training facility still includes both turf and strength sections, just with more space and equipment available.

“The space at the mall was a great start, but there was a demand for more training space,” Hogan said.

Hogan said one-on-one training sessions will continue, but he plans this summer to add adult and athlete group sessions, as well as school group sessions for football and volleyball.

The expanded Dubuque facility is the latest chapter in the growth Bar Raising Fitness has seen since Hogan started the business.

The first facility opened in the Dubuque mall in 2019. Since then, a second location opened in Dyersville in 2020 and a Cascade location opened in 2022.

“Over the past four years, the growth has been unreal,” Hogan said. “I started this in my garage in 2018 in East Dubuque (Ill.). I didn’t have any experience running a gym. I was just weightlifting on my own. But this area needed specialized athletic one-on-one training.”

More information on Bar Raising Fitness training sessions can be found online at and, and appointments are needed for sessions. The new Dubuque location also can be reached at 563-599-3912.

Plans in development for new car wash in Platteville

Plans for a new car wash are in the works in Platteville.

Developers with Tidal Wave Auto Spa filed a conditional use permit for a new location at 1651 Progressive Parkway, in front of Menard’s and next to the Arby’s that is under construction.

“Any car wash facility in our ordinance requires a conditional use permit,” said Joe Carroll, City of Platteville community development director. “They started that process. It went to the (Platteville Common) Council for information only on (March 14), and the council will make a decision at the next meeting on the 28th of March.”

Carroll said plans for the new car wash appear to be similar to the Tidal Wave Auto Spa location in Dubuque at 2541 Northwest Arterial.

The car wash building is planned to be 18 feet by 147 feet and will sit on an empty acre-and-a-half lot, he said. The city’s planning commission made a recommendation earlier this month that the council approve the conditional use permit.

A firm date for construction has not been set yet, Carroll said, but he said he guessed it would be sometime in the spring.

Tidal Wave Auto Spa is the latest development proposed for a stretch of Progressive Parkway. Kwik Trip, Starbucks, Arby’s and U.S. Cellular all have started developments in that area since the end of 2021.

“It’s kind of surprising we’ve had so much development at one time, but it’s good to see,” Carroll said. “It’s good to see job creation and additional business.”

Calls to Tidal Wave Auto Spa were not returned.

Mother-daughter duo opens discount store in Dyersville

A mother and daughter have opened a discount store in Dyersville.

Surprise Den opened March 12 at 635 16th St. SE, next to Mexican restaurant Rio Blanco in the previous location of Natural Grains. Shelly Hess and her daughter, Mikaylah Veglahn, own the store.

“It’s been a really exciting time,” Veglahn said. “My mom inspired me with her passion for entrepreneurship and helped me open the store. This is our first venture.”

Veglahn said they purchase items stores do not want anymore and put out new items every day. She added that they make sure products are high-quality, but they offer full refunds if a customer is not satisfied.

The store sells a wide variety of items, including electronics, kitchenware, baby items, furniture, toys and pet items.

“That’s why we call it the Surprise Den,” Veglahn said. “You never know what you’re going to find. There’s a surprise for everyone here.”

The store also offers complimentary hot drinks and has a kids section with toys and treats where children can play while their parents shop.

Surprise Den focuses on giving back to the community, as well. Veglahn said there is a little food pantry set up in the corner of the store for people to drop off and pick up items, and each Monday the store will donate 5% of all profits to a different organization.

“My mom loves talking to people,” Veglahn said. “She always wanted to have a business her whole life, and now that I’m older, I said, ‘Well, why can’t we do it?’ We fell in love with the concept of a retail store and toured different places in Iowa to pick and choose what we liked from their business, and we wanted to focus on specials and giving back.”

Surprise Den is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store also can be found on Facebook.