Biz Buzz: Accessories business gets new owner; popular burger joint coming to Dubuque; MercyOne plays big role at big game

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states each Tuesday. This week, we highlight developments from Dubuque.

Shortly after celebrating her 10th anniversary with the business, a longtime employee has taken ownership of a growing, Dubuque-based fashion accessories store.

Ali Bandy became the owner of Accessorize Me on Aug. 1. Located at 2794 University Ave., the business sells jewelry, hand bags, clothing and other items to a combination of retail and wholesale clients.

A few weeks after taking the reins, Bandy is enjoying the new role.

“It is really different, but it has been a lot of fun,” she said. “I am learning a lot of new things. It has rejuvenated my love for the business.”

Bandy said Accessorize Me was started about 15 years ago by Jennifer Klaas, who remained the owner until last month.

The business initially focused exclusively on retail business but later added wholesale clients to its repertoire. Bandy said the business now has wholesale clients throughout the U.S. and into Canada.

Bandy believes the two sides of the business complement each other well.

“Our retail is busiest when wholesale is slow and wholesale is busier when retail is down,” she said.

Accessorize Me currently employs 11, including six full-time workers and five seasonal ones.

Bandy began working at Accessorize Me in July 2011. In the years since, she has served in management positions and traveled around to buying shows, giving her a wealth of knowledge on the business and the industry as a whole.

As she prepares to lead the company into the future, she knows she isn’t doing so alone.

“The team we have here is phenomenal,” she said. “They are willing to step up and try new roles. I love my co-workers like a family.”

The retail location is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It can be reached by calling 563-556-0240.

Burger brand eyes Dubuque

A growing burger brand bearing a well-known family name will soon open within a Dubuque grocery store.

Wahlburgers is slated to open its doors on Sept. 7 in the Hy-Vee at 400 S. Locust St., according to Hy-Vee assistant vice president of communications Christina Gayman.

Wahlburgers was founded a decade ago by chef Paul Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie and Mark, both of whom are actors. The chain has since opened dozens of restaurants, including many within Hy-Vee stores.

“There has been a really positive response,” Gayman said of the Wahlburgers locations in other Hy-Vee sites. “People love the menu variety, and they love the fact that it has a family-friendly, upbeat environment.”

In addition to burgers, the eatery offers salads, sandwiches and shakes, as well as a full-service bar, including beer, wine and cocktails.

While the Market Grille moniker will no longer be attached to the eatery, Gayman emphasized that visitors to Wahlburgers will be able to purchase the same breakfast items served at Market Grille from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The opening of the first Dubuque Wahlburgers comes four years after Hy-Vee announced plans to transition all of its Market Grille locations into Wahlburgers restaurants. Dubuque has two Market Grille locations — within the Hy-Vee stores on Locust and Dodge streets.

However, Gayman said there are no concrete plans to bring a Wahlburgers to the Hy-Vee on Dodge Street or the one on Northwest Arterial at this time.

Renovations recently commenced on the future Wahlburgers location, which Gayman said will have “a new look and feel” that reflects the brand.

The Market Grille location at the Locust Street Hy-Vee is temporarily closed but will reopen Saturday for breakfast and will continue to operate in the weeks leading up to the Wahlburgers opening.

MercyOne at Field of Dreams

On Aug. 12, all eyes in Dyersville were fixed on the Yankees and White Sox as they squared off at the Field of Dreams.

Behind the scenes, staffers from MercyOne were on site and making sure that fans and workers alike received the medical care that they needed.

The health care organization had a presence at the Field of Dreams campus from Aug. 5 to 14, according to emergency department clinical leader Katie Harris.

She said she was the lone MercyOne representative on site for the majority of those dates; however, she was joined by about 30 other staffers on the day of the big game.

MercyOne provided ambulance personnel, a helicopter flight crew, emergency room physicians, emergency room nurses, paramedics and EMTs on Aug. 12, when more than 7,800 fans convened at the Field of Dreams. The majority of staffers came from MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, but the crew was rounded out by a small contingent of MercyOne workers from Elkader, Mason City and Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Harris said workers treated patients for a variety of issues, including ankle injuries, chest pain and heat-related issues.

The majority of the medical concerns were directly tied to the hot weather, according to Harris. Temperature climbed into the mid-80s on gameday and Harris reported more than 100 people were treated within an on-site cooling tent, which helped people cool down and stay hydrated.

Four people had to be transported to local hospitals for medical care.

In addition to caring for fans, MercyOne crews assisted those who were working on the site.

Like many who attended the game, Harris said the Field of Dreams experience is one she won’t forget any time soon.

“We were just as excited as the fans were,” she said. “It was a great environment to be involved in.”