Biz Buzz: Dubuque transmission shop closes; new owner of Platteville fitness studio; Bellevue couple opens barbershop

Business tips sought

Do you have an interesting story or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at or 563-588-5673. 

business tips sought Do you have an interesting story or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at or 563-588-5673.

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

A longtime Dubuque transmission repair shop recently closed its doors, but its owner hopes someone else will take over the business.

M-K Matic Transmission Co., 840 Garfield St., closed in early January after owner Rod Clemen found out he had a brain tumor. Clemen already planned to retire in November of this year but moved up his timeline following the health news.

“I would love for someone to come in and start over,” Clemen said of the business. “That would be the best-case scenario. I’ve had a lot of fun here. I do miss it. I sure enjoy the place.”

M-K Matic was opened on Kaufmann Avenue by Maynard Keehner in 1956. In 1959, Keehner built a shop at 840 Garfield.

Clemen said he became an employee at M-K Matic in 1983. He and his former business partner, Bob Weinschenk, took over as owners in 1995.

Weinschenk retired in 2015, and Clemen has run the business alone since.

“I put a lot of pride into the business,” Clemen said. “M-K Matic was a great business full of wonderful owners and employees for 67 years.”

Clemen said he had to shut the shop down after finding out about the brain tumor on Jan. 6. He said he hopes to find someone over the next two or three months that will take over the transmission shop, and, if not, he will auction off everything inside the shop.

Donna Clemen called her husband “the biggest car guy there is” and hopes someone will continue his legacy at the shop while he undergoes treatment.

“We’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” she said.

Those interested in the M-K Matic space or business can email

Platteville fitness studio gets new name, owner

A Platteville fitness studio soon will have a new name and owner.

Platteville Cycling and Fitness, 20 E. Main St., will become Driftless Fitness & Yoga as of March 1. On that date, Linda Fansler also will take over as owner from Addie Graffin.

“I’ll still teach yoga, and all the instructors there will teach for me, as well,” Fansler said. “Really, the only thing that changes is the name. Everything else is going to stay the same.”

Fansler said she took yoga classes from Graffin for years before becoming an instructor for her in November 2021. Fansler said she was asked to see if she would be interested in taking over the studio around last Christmas.

The studio’s name change stemmed from Fansler’s desire to have something more generic in case the studio expands to other areas in the future, she said.

Fansler, who also is part owner of Southwest Accounting, said she will wait until after tax season to see if she thinks any changes or additions need to be made to the studio. However, she said her daughter, Rileigh Fansler, who is going to University of Minnesota for athletic training, will teach virtual fitness classes.

“Everything else is going to stay exactly the same until I can breathe this summer and see if there are other classes out there people are wanting to do,” Fansler said. “I’m usually open to any ideas people have and will see if something might work.”

Driftless Fitness & Yoga can be reached via email at and found online at Classes can be scheduled at

Bellevue couple opens barbershop

A Bellevue couple recently opened a barbershop in the community, emphasizing walk-in opportunities.

Victoria and Libby Small opened Fade Babe, 132 N. Riverview St., in the space that previously housed The Hometown Hunnies and Happy Stems.

“Years ago, there was a barbershop here, and I had a very nostalgic feel for it,” said Victoria, a Bellevue native. “My dad took me to the barbershop when I was younger to get his hair cut. I had been doing hair in Iowa City, and I saw how many hair salons we had in town, but none of them were walk-in based. I felt that’s what this town needed.”

Victoria has been doing hair for six years, though this is her first time owning a shop. She and her wife moved to Bellevue to run the business at Libby’s encouragement, as Libby enjoyed the small-town feel.

While the barbershop takes appointments for hair coloring and extensions, Victoria said she wanted to make haircuts and face waxing walk-in based.

“For second-shift people, especially farmers and laborers, they don’t have a planned-out schedule of how long they are going to be out in the field,” she said. “I wanted to provide them an opportunity to be out in the field and be able to come in and get their hair done nicely when they can.”

Victoria is the only stylist working in the barbershop now, but she has space to add five people. Libby, who is a full-time EMT in Maquoketa and a volunteer EMT and firefighter in Bellevue, helps with marketing and managing the front desk when she has time.

“It’s been going really well,” Victoria said of the business. “I’m excited for warmer weather for more people to come in and see who we are and what we do.”

Fade Babe is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The business can be reached at 319-536-2826. The shop can be found on Facebook at and on Instagram @fade_babe_barbershop.