Biz Buzz: Main Street store transforming; Guttenberg store gets new name, owner; dealership acquires auto shop

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque, Guttenberg, Iowa, and Galena, Ill.

A Dubuque clothing store has closed and will open as a shop for new mothers, though the business will remain in the same family.

HJ’s Fashion Emporium closed at the end of February. Next month, the space at 241 Main St. will open again as Momerella, which will be a one-stop shop for new mothers looking for clothes and other items.

“It’s hard to have a newborn,” said Momerella owner Anna Meadows. “It shouldn’t be hard to get dressed. So, this will be one location where you can go to shop and find resources as a new mom.”

HJ’s Fashion Emporium was owned by Anna’s mother, Terri Meadows. The family also owns three stores in Galena, Ill. — Honest John’s Trading Post, Honest John’s Emporium and Union Leather.

Terri said she decided it was time to step back from HJ’s Emporium as owner. She now will take on an administrator role for all four family stores.

“I loved being in Dubuque,” Terri said of the store. “In Galena, you have more tourists, but Dubuque is more local, so I had a lot more repeat customers. I loved that, and I’ll miss that. But Anna’s third generation, and I’m happy to see it keep going.”

Anna said she decided to open a store for new mothers after having difficulty finding postpartum clothing and other needed items after giving birth to her daughter in November.

Momerella also will sell items such as pregnancy journals, birth announcements and breastfeeding shirts.

Anna said she’s in the process of updating the store space and hopes to open around mid-April. A website and Facebook page for Momerella also are in the works.

In the first few weeks of opening, Anna said she plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to see what times work best for moms to shop. She added that Momerella also will have curbside pickup and delivery options.

“There’s so many things you don’t know you need until the baby comes out, and then you need them right now,” Anna said.

Guttenberg store gets new owner, name

A Guttenberg business has reopened under a new name and owner.

Hometown Designs, 602 S. River Park Drive, reopened last month with Andrea Moser as owner. The store focuses on screenprinted and embroidered items.

The business previously was called Guttenberg Embroidery & More. Moser said the business was started in the 1990s and has been at the River Park Drive location since the early 2000s.

Moser, a member of the Guttenberg Economic and Industrial Development Committee, said she heard the business was for sale at a January meeting.

“I did not want to see this type of business leave the Guttenberg community,” she said.

As the business transitioned to new hands, Moser said, the building’s owners wanted to take the opportunity to renovate the space. Moser also decided to change the name to coincide with its new owner and updated space.

She added that she owns a house-painting business, AM Painting. While she did not have previous experience in screenprinting or embroidery, Moser said her creativity and artistic side drove her toward Hometown Designs.

“I knew that I could not paint forever,” she said. “I knew that I needed an outlet to turn to if I wasn’t painting anymore. This was the perfect opportunity for me to give it a try.”

Hometown Designs’ hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The store can be reached at 563-252-1297.

Galena dealership acquires longtime auto shop

A Galena vehicle dealership has acquired a local tire and auto shop, bringing their employees and services under one roof.

Galena Chrysler, 11300 U.S. 20, acquired Foley’s Tire, Auto & Truck Service. Don Foley is the former owner of Foley’s and now the service manager for Galena Chrysler. His technicians also are working at the dealership.

“It brought (Foley’s) expertise of 40 years of not only being a mechanic but also running a shop, plus his technicians’ expertise,” said Rosean Schromen, Galena Chrysler owner, of the move. “… He’s also very trusted. He has common sense about repairs, which is important.”

Schromen said the idea to join with the Foley’s team began through a conversation about the difficulty in finding mechanics to hire.

At the same time, she said, Foley’s business partner, Mike Sproule, decided he would be OK stepping back from the partnership, allowing Galena Chrysler to join with the rest of the Foley’s team. The merger added two additional technicians to the three already working in Galena Chrysler’s shop, she said.

“Don Foley had a prolific following, and (customers) are following him over, which we’re happy about,” Schromen said.

The move also added Foley’s space at 11471 Industrial Drive to Galena Chrysler. However, Schromen said the property is for sale, along with two other buildings on Galena Square Drive and U.S. 20 that the dealership previously operated out of.

She said the dealership opened its current location near Wal-Mart around two years ago.

“It’s a state-of-the-art building,” Schromen said. “There’s plenty of room for vehicles on the showroom floor and those working in the shop.”

Galena Chrysler is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The dealership can be contacted at 815-777-4477.