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 email@example.com or 563-588-5673.
Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque, Galena, Ill. and East Dubuque, Ill.
A new owner has taken over Dubuque’s longtime trolley-tour business.
Tim Stockel now runs Trolleys of Dubuque after officially taking over at the start of the year. The business offers both historic tours for groups as well as tours in the trolley for special occasions.
“Something that’s always been done is the historical tours showcasing the rich history of Dubuque and Dubuque County,” Stockel said. “That was an aspect of the business I wanted to continue with, promoting the city. It is a very, very awesome town with a rich, storied history, and I thought that was important.”
Stockel said he had been looking to make a career switch before taking over the business.
“I’d been in the construction business for 40 years, since I was 18,” he said. “After 40 years of doing construction, my body was kind of wearing down, but I still had probably about another 10 years to go before I retired.”
He and his wife, Peggy, then saw Trolleys of Dubuque was for sale and eventually took over the business from Jerry and Kelly Lazore, who owned the business since 2009.
Trolleys of Dubuque has operated in Dubuque since the 1980s, Stockel said. The business has switched hands several times since then.
“Jerry (Lazore) impressed on me that they basically did the same things the former owners did, and that worked out really well,” Stockel said. “He encouraged me to continue along those same lines, and that’s what I’m doing.”
In addition to making the trolleys available for special occasions, Stockel has made sure to keep the historical tours for third-graders, which began nearly 30 years ago.
“There are people that we have done weddings for that had been on the third-grade tours when they were youngsters,” Stockel said. “The kids love it. They love getting up on the trolley. Their eyes get so big.”
Stockel added that he purchased two brand-new trolleys that arrived in mid-March for the tours, one a 30-passenger trolley and the other a 22-passenger trolley.
“I think that what I probably enjoy the most is meeting a lot of different people,” Stockel said. “They are all there for one reason, and that is to have a good time … I have to pinch myself sometimes and say, ‘I can’t believe this is how I’m paying my bills.’ It’s different, but a good kind of different.”
Trolleys of Dubuque can be reached at 563-552-2896 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on the Trolleys of Dubuque Facebook page.
Galena food-tour business starting tours this week
A new Galena food-tour business will debut its offerings this weekend.
Devin Ganka officially launched Galena Foodie Adventures in January to give people a chance to take a guided food tour through the historic town. The first tour will take place Saturday, June 10.
“I just really have a passion for traveling and food,” Ganka said. “I was trying to figure out a way to share my passions with people, and I thought, ‘Why can’t I do something myself?’ So I started a food tour operating company.”
Ganka, who graduated from culinary school in 2017, will guide tours through Galena’s restaurants, a bakery, coffee shop and winery to highlight all the delicious options available. Each tour includes 10 tastings at five different spots and takes place on weekends and certain holidays.
“All of the (business) owners I partner with are super excited,” Ganka said. “They think it’s a really great idea. It’s something different. It’s something Galena doesn’t have a lot of.”
Ganka, who has lived in Galena for three years, also said he wanted to provide a new opportunity for the many tourists that flock to Galena each year.
“I visited Galena every year when I was a kid, as well,” he said. “I grew up traveling the country, and my goal was to live somewhere I’d love to travel to.”
More information on Galena Foodie Adventures, including how to book a tour, can be found online at galenafoodieadventures.com.
East Dubuque bar launches new food truck
An East Dubuque bar recently debuted a new food truck.
The Other Side, 68 Sinsinawa Ave., brought out its food truck for customers for the first time last month. Michelle Mulgrew — sister of The Other Side’s owner, Mike Meyer — does catering and now food truck scheduling for the bar.
“Basically, I started the food truck … because we had several local businesses and things like that that we used to cater indoors before the (COVID-19) pandemic,” Mulgrew said. “They wanted to bring food back but don’t necessarily want us in the building. This way, the employees can come out and order food that way instead of us being in their lunch room, and we can offer different options.”
Mulgrew said the food truck’s menu is flexible, depending on what the person who booked the truck wants.
“Usually what we do is pizzas to order, personal pizzas, and two different sandwiches as options with a bag of chips, simple stuff to be able to get them in and out quickly,” she said.
In addition to taking business bookings, Mulgrew said the food truck also has parked at a few area summer events already, such as the Kick Off 2 Summer concert at Q Casino in Dubuque. The truck can also be found on Saturdays at Dubuque Farmers Market.
“I have also gotten several requests for Music in the Park, Food Truck Fridays,” Mulgrew added. “This (food truck) is something that we had been talking about for the last couple of years.”
Those interested in booking The Other Side’s food truck can text or call 563-580-4303.