Biz Buzz: Longtime Dubuque store for sale; winery adding outdoor space; fitness studio owner opening 2nd site

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

A longtime Dubuque business is for sale.

The “for sale” signs went up at McGovern Hardware, 2220 University Ave., earlier this month.

“Me and my mechanic (Scott Seifert) decided to retire,” said owner Dave Roling. “We’ll keep the business running ‘business as usual’ until they find a buyer and we transfer it over to them. Hopefully, they’ll want to continue the business.”

McGovern Hardware began as a hardware store in Dubuque in the 1950s. Roling, who has been with McGovern Hardware for 21 years, said the business later turned its focus to outdoor power equipment, repairs and parts.

“But we kept the name because that’s what everybody knew it by,” Roling said. “We didn’t want anyone to say, ‘Oh, McGovern Hardware is closing.’ We just wanted to do what we do best.”

Roling said he worked in a hardware store for 18 years before the opportunity to take over McGovern Hardware came about.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” he said. “It’s nice being your own boss. It has its advantages.”

He said his run will end as soon as things are finalized with a new buyer.

However, he said, the business will close by Dec. 31, 2023, if a new buyer is not found before then. In that case, Roling said, he would consider selling what’s left of the store’s inventory and rent out the building until a buyer is found.

“We’re ready to go,” he said. “Both of us (Roling and Seifert) are getting close to retirement age. And (Seifert) told me a long time ago, ‘When you go, I go.’”

McGovern Hardware is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The store can be reached at 563-582-8671.

Maquoketa winery adding outdoor patio

A rural Maquoketa winery is adding an outdoor patio for customers to enjoy.

A new outdoor seating area is coming soon to Iowa Grape Vines Winery, 18345 55th St., said co-owners Jim and Mary Kay Sorensen.

“We think it’ll be a real nice addition there with some nice seating for people,” Jim said.

Mary Kay said it will take up to a month to get all of the landscaping around the new seating area done, but the patio itself will be usable before then. They plan to have at least a dozen tables on it.

The family-operated winery has been open in rural Maquoketa since the Sorensens moved there in 2013, but the couple started the business in Preston, Iowa, after obtaining their winery license in 2009.

Jim said they have looked to add elements such as an outdoor seating area for a while, but the COVID-19 pandemic stalled their plans.

However, the Sorensens added gourmet popcorn to the offerings at the winery last year, and they also have ice cream shakes available for people of all ages.

Jim noted that he envisions families being able to enjoy the new outdoor seating together.

“Ever since the beginning, we’ve been a kid-friendly place,” he said. “Our kids were young when we started this, and we’ve kept it kid-friendly the whole time.”

Iowa Grape Vines Winery is open from 12 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Those interested in a wine tasting on other days can set up a time by calling 563-940-3830.

Platteville fitness studio owner to open Cuba City location

A Platteville fitness studio owner is opening a second location in Cuba City.

Adelei Graffin, who grew up in Kieler, Wis., opened Platteville Cycling & Fitness Studio one year ago at 20 E. Main St. Now, she plans to open Cuba City Yoga, Pilates & Fitness Studio at 203 S. Main St. in that city, which is the historic depot building near Kwik Trip.

“We can serve more people this way,” Graffin said. “We really focus on mind and body wellness because it starts from the inside out. That might be something they need out there.”

She said she originally looked for a bigger location in Platteville, as the business began to outgrow the space. But during the search, the opportunity to add a Cuba City location came about.

“When I started in Platteville, I did one class a day,” she said. “Now, we’re a team of 10. And next month in June, we’ll be doing 100 classes a month between the two locations.”

Graffin said the first class at the Cuba City studio will take place June 4. The studio will focus on yoga and Pilates to start, but offerings could expand in the future.

“I taught in Madison (Wis.) for forever,” she said. “When I moved back, I noticed that Pilates was not big around here, and the benefits of it are amazing. So, I’ve been teaching it at Platteville, and people love it.”

She added that those who sign up for memberships can have access to both studios.

Graffin said she looks forward to meeting new people at the Cuba City studio, noting that the success of her business wouldn’t have happened without community support.

“I opened this place (in Platteville) as a fun thing to do that I’m good at,” she said. “I was going to try this as a hobby and teach one class a day. I never planned to expand and never planned to do more than one class a day. It organically became this, and I’m so grateful.”

More information on Cuba City Yoga, Pilates & Fitness Studio can be found at