Biz Buzz: Dubuque photographer to open studio; dog treat business aids Bellevue teen; Iowa’s best burger named

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa.

A Dubuque photographer has opened her first studio space.

Ashley Regan opened the studio for Rae of Light Photography at 890 Main St., Suite 3C, on Sunday.

“I’m really just excited to have my own space,” she said. “I’m excited to get people in there and start doing sessions with people and have a place to hang my hat.”

The studio is located on a lower level of the same building that houses Graham’s Style Store.

“I’ve been a photographer since 2015, but this is the first time I’ve ever had an actual studio location,” Regan said. “I’ve always been into taking pictures and messing with angles, but I got my first DSLR camera after my first son was born in 2012.”

Regan said a prime driver behind finding a studio space was the Iowa weather, especially the winters that make outdoor photographs difficult to capture.

She primarily takes wedding photos, but she also offers sessions for families and newborns. Additionally, she offers a “grow with me” package, which includes maternity photos and milestone moments for a baby until he or she turns 1 year old.

Regan also has decided to donate a portion of her profits during several months of the year to a local cause. How many months of the year and what cause the profits will go to could change year to year, she said.

“There’s some causes close to my heart, and I felt like maybe I could help out a bit,” she said.

June will mark the first month for donated profits, and Regan plans to give those funds to a local LGBTQ+ organization for Pride Month. In July, she plans to focus on veterans, and she will donate to local teachers in August to help cover school supply costs.

Rae of Light Photography can be reached at 563-920-6649 or raeoflightimages@gmail.com. The business also can be found at raeoflightimages.com or facebook.com/RaeofLightDBQ.

Dog treat business aids Bellevue teen with chromosome disorder

An at-home dog treat business is giving a Bellevue teen with a chromosome disorder work experience.

Dey’s Dog Snack Shack was created after Deb Beschen began thinking about the future for Deyonna, her 16-year-old daughter. Deyonna was born with a chromosome disorder called Emanuel syndrome, and she also was diagnosed with autism.

“She said she wanted to work with animals, but we didn’t think it would be a good fit, since she’s not able to walk without a walker and has trouble getting around,” Beschen said. “So we decided to start making dog treats. We’re really hoping it can transition to at least a part-time job, if not a full-time job, for Deyonna.”

Beschen said the business had to be registered with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, and they were able to start baking and delivering dog treats at their Bellevue home around last Christmas.

The treats also were successful at the recent SheShed Fest at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds, and Beschen said she hopes to sell at more craft shows in the future.

“(Deyonna) really likes cutting out the cookies the best, I think, and putting them in the package,” Beschen said. “We’re also trying to teach her to mix the dough and work on her fine motor skills with that.”

Delivering treats also helps Deyonna, who is nonverbal and speaks through a communication device, with her social skills, her mother added.

“Deyonna has overcome a lot of obstacles in her whole life,” Beschen said. “She’s medically fragile. She’s really come a long way. She’s just bloomed more than we even thought she would.”

Dey’s Dog Snack Shack can be reached at 563-495-3903 or dogsnackshack@gmail.com. The business also can be found at facebook.com/deysdogsnackshackllc.

Marshalltown restaurant home to Iowa’s best burger; Dubuque eatery a finalist

The best burger in Iowa is served up in a restaurant in Marshalltown, according to the Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

The groups announced Monday that The Flying Elbow was the winner in its annual Iowa’s Best Burger Contest.

Foodie Garage Eatery in Dubuque was among the 10 finalists for the award for the second year in a row.

Foodie Garage opened at 1046 Central Ave. in early April after being located at 1091 University Ave. since opening in November 2019.

Online nominations for the best burger contest were accepted from mid-February to mid-March by Iowa Beef Industry Council and Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The top 10 restaurants then were visited by a panel of anonymous judges, which selected the winner.

The other finalists were Arty’s Ice Cream & Grill in Wilton; Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Sac City; Flaming Office Bar and Grill in Toledo; Lachele’s Fine Foods in Des Moines; Pally’s Bar & Grille in Clive; The Handlebar in Dallas Center; Victoria Station in Harlan and West Towne Pub in Ames.

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