Biz Buzz: Maquoketa pizza restaurant opens; dog-grooming business launched; local resident starts specialty coffee business

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Maquoketa, Iowa, and Fennimore, Wis.

A recently opened Maquoketa restaurant offers pizza and pub-style food alongside an adjacent ice cream parlor that launched last month.

Copper Cardinal Pizza Pub, 202 S. Main St., opened last week after Copper Cardinal Ice Cream Shoppe, located in the same building, began serving customers in mid-July.

“The anticipation for the pizza pub is off the charts,” said Tiffany Mangler, the manager for both businesses. “We think we’ll be pretty busy for a while.”

Mangler said the two businesses are owned by Jason Harper, who also owns Hall of Fame Pizza & Wings in DeWitt and in Eldridge, Iowa. Harper bought the historic Maquoketa building about two years ago and renovated it to create the restaurant and ice cream parlor, along with a commercial space and apartments.

Some of the building’s original features were retained during the renovation, including a copper ceiling, which inspired the first part of the businesses’ names. The second part, “Cardinal,” was chosen in honor of Maquoketa Community School District’s mascot.

Copper Cardinal Ice Cream Shoppe offers hard-scoop ice cream, shakes, malts and sundaes, while the pizza pub’s menu includes appetizers, pastas, wings, salads, sandwiches and pizza.

“It’s a pub-style pizza with a thin crust, and you can do your traditional (toppings) like sausage and mushroom, but we also have a line of specialty pizzas that are unique to us,” Mangler said.

The pub’s pizzas include “The Big German,” which features bratwurst and sauerkraut; “The Couch Potato,” topped with fried potatoes, onion, bacon and sour cream; and “Mac Attack,” which Mangler described as a McDonald’s Big Mac in pizza form.

Mangler said the business employs about 30 people and offers dine-in, delivery and carryout options.

Copper Cardinal Pizza Pub is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays. The business can be reached at 563-652-7271.

Fennimore woman launches dog-grooming business

After getting her start at a local dog-grooming business, a Fennimore woman will open one of her own next week.

Kylie Wagner will open the doors to Wag N’ Wash Grooming on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 1064 Lincoln Ave. She will offer a variety of grooming services, including haircuts, baths, nail care and de-shedding treatments.

Wagner said she rented space at local grooming business Tina’s Bark ‘N Beauties for nearly four years after owner Tina Frye asked her if she wanted to learn how to groom.

“I said, ‘Yes,’ and never looked back,” Wagner said. “I’ve just been a dog lover my whole life, but I never really thought I could have a career working with animals.”

The new home of Wag N’ Wash Grooming previously was occupied by Fennimore Veterinary Clinic, which moved in May to a larger building at 2025 Lincoln Ave. Wagner said she and her husband purchased the building and made minor cosmetic updates, including painting and flooring work.

“It’s exciting,” she said of the move. “It’s going to be sad to leave where I’m at –- that’s been like home for me for the last four years — but I’m excited to make it my own as well.”

Wag N’ Wash Grooming is open by appointment only and currently is not accepting new clients, but local residents can follow the business’ progress at

Maquoketa resident starts specialty coffee business

A new Maquoketa business offers roasted coffee beans with a local theme.

Maquoketa resident Christian McLaughlin opened Spelunker Coffee Co. earlier this month. The business sprang from a passion he discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he was furloughed from his job and saw a video on roasting coffee.

“I thought I’d give it a shot, that maybe I could make a business out of this,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to start my own business since I was younger, and I love coffee, so it just made sense.”

The business name is a nod to Maquoketa Caves State Park, as are the coffee flavors offered: a medium roast called “Bedrock Blend,” a dark roast known as “Cave Dweller” and an espresso named “Troglobite.”

McLaughlin purchases the beans from wholesale coffee growers, then blends, roasts and packages them in his space within Innovate 120, an innovation and co-working center at 120 S. Main St.

Customers can order their roasted coffee beans online and stop in to pick them up or have them shipped anywhere in the country. McLaughlin said he also eventually plans to partner with local businesses to sell the beans in a retail setting.

He hopes his business can fill a “niche market” for specialty roasted coffee and contribute to a period of positive business growth he lately has noticed in Maquoketa.

“Our whole downtown is getting renovated, empty spaces are starting to fill up again, and overall, the town’s improving,” he said, later adding, “This is a big-city sort of concept, a coffee roaster, and it’s feeding into that specialty area for a small town.”

Spelunker Coffee Co. is open for pickup of online orders or for walk-in sales from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as well as on days when McLaughlin roasts coffee beans, which will be announced on social media.

More information can be found at or the business’ Facebook or Instagram pages.