Biz Buzz: Event space opens in former Dubuque boutique; Dubuque dermatology office nears opening; farm-to-table store opens in Cascade

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Cascade, Iowa.

A new event venue is opening in a former boutique space in Dubuque’s Cable Car Square.

The Story Space recently opened at 345 Bluff St., the former home of the boutique Fig Leaf. The customizable space is available for hourly and daily event rentals for small- and medium-sized gatherings.

“We want people to be able to tell their own stories here,” said owner Rylynn McQuillen. “It’s fun. It’s whimsical, and we’re really hoping people will enjoy it as much as we do.”

McQuillen and her husband, Jeff, own the Bluff Street building and previously ran it as Fig Leaf. The boutique closed earlier this year after declining sales the pair attributed to a continued rise in online shopping.

With the boutique behind them, the McQuillens were faced with a choice about what to do next.

At first, Jeff McQuillen said, they considered renting it out for photography sessions, but the more the pair talked about it with friends and family, the more they heard about the need for smaller event spaces more broadly.

“We were looking for a new venture,” he said. “We were talking with (Rylynn’s) mom, and she said, ‘You could really use this space for a multitude of events,’ and it just clicked.”

Few structural changes were needed, Jeff added, but various eye-catching displays and decorations have been added to bolster visual appeal and intrigue. Those displays will rotate seasonally for different events or holidays.

The pair envision the space being used for anything from bridal showers or kids’ birthday parties to a local pop-up shop or business retreat. Maximum capacity still is being finalized, but the space is targeted toward small- to medium-sized groups.

“We want it to be a very comfortable space,” Rylynn said. “So many people loved Fig Leaf and loved this space, and this is kind of a full circle way so that we can still have people in here and still be helping the community.”

The Story Space can be booked online at Additional questions can be directed to or by calling 563-513-9718.

New Dubuque dermatology office nears opening

A new dermatology office is set to debut in Dubuque.

Driftless Skin Center is set to open Monday, April 15, at 1550 University Ave., Suite B., near UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital. The center offers screenings and treatment for a variety of dermatological concerns including acne, warts, rosacea and skin cancer.

The office will be led by physician’s assistant Megan Eisel. Eisel has worked in dermatology for 20 years, 13 of which were spent working at Dubuque’s Grand River Medical Group.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my patients some place with a fresh, new look,” Eisel said of the new office. “I was driven to do something on my own and give back to the community in my own way.”

Driftless Skin Center is equipped with three patient exam rooms, as well as a large reception and waiting area. In addition to Eisel, the office is staffed by a registered nurse, medical assistant, office manager and receptionist.

Eisel said the office was laid out to curate a welcoming environment in a modern, clean space.

“Skin health is for everyone, and we’re here to help,” Eisel said. “Ironically, the skin is the largest organ, but it is sometimes forgotten about as a part of the body we need to take care of if we want to be happy and healthy.”

Starting next week, Driftless Skin Center will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. More information and online booking is available at, or patients can call the office at 563-900-8922.

Farm-to-table store opens in Cascade

A new retail space has opened in Cascade with a focus on connecting consumers with area farmers.

The Beringer Family Farms Store recently opened at 28031 Goose Hill Road. All of the items in the store are sourced from the Beringer farm or from producers operating within a 30-mile radius.

“The store is kind of a one-stop-shop farmers market,” said owner Lillie Beringer. “We’re offering fresh beef, pork and chicken as well as a lot of dairy products, eggs and fresh greens.”

In addition to staples such as eggs and milk, the store also sells locally sourced baked goods, lotions, candles and more. Items will rotate regularly to stock whatever is fresh and in season.

The farm store is located on the Beringer family farm, rather than at a typical storefront, to encourage customers to become familiar with agricultural landscapes and ask any questions they might have, Beringer said.

The goal is to increase the quality and quantity of connections area residents have to the producers who grow and make food products.

“The gap between the farmer and the consumer seems to be growing further and further,” Beringer said. “I think it’s important that we help people get connected to the source so they can talk to somebody they trust and ask any questions they might have.”

Beringer added that the store is just one of the ways the Beringer family hopes to achieve that goal. Moving forward, she would like to add opportunities for agricultural programming and agritourism at the farm, too.

Some of those opportunities would be aimed at area youth, while others would be open to all ages.

“Our main goal is to connect consumers with farmers and show the whole process of how you get food onto your table,” Beringer said. “The farm store is the first step of having that kind of full-circle programming.”

The Beringer Family Farms Store is open from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Weekly updates about what is in stock can be found online at or by subscribing to the Beringer Family Farms newsletter at