Biz Buzz: New bakery rises in Cascade; Iowan returns to open business; beloved Dubuque shop begins new chapter

Co-owner Cheryl Wood prepares brownies at Cheryl’s Flour Garden Bakery and Coffee Bar in Cascade, Iowa. PHOTO CREDIT: NICKI KOHL

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Cascade, Iowa.

A new bakery in downtown Cascade is appealing to locals and out-of-town visitors alike.

Cheryl’s Flour Garden Bakery and Coffee Bar opened at 126 First Ave. W last month.

“We wanted to open a business that offers Starbucks-level quality right here in little Cascade,” said co-owner Cheryl Wood. “I think this is something the residents here can enjoy, and hopefully, it will get more people to take a day trip here.”

Wood, who previously sold her treats at area farmers markets, brings years of baking experience to the table.

The menu at her new business includes pastries, biscuits, sandwiches, coffee drinks and smoothies. She emphasized that she is always tinkering with recipes and updating the offerings.

“Each day, there is something new on the menu,” she said.

Wood co-owns the business with her husband, Joel.

Getting the bakery and coffee shop ready to open was a long and labor-intensive process for the couple.

The Woods purchased the building at 126 First Ave. W and tore down an adjoining structure to make room for the new business.

The couple went to great lengths to preserve the history of the old apartment complex that was demolished. Doors from that property were turned into a counter, and pieces of the wood were sanded down and transformed into decor.

Cheryl said the effort was worth it. She noted that operating this business allows her to interact with customers in a way she couldn’t when she was exclusively selling at farmers markets.

“When I can put a smile on people’s faces, that gives me the momentum to keep going,” she said.

Cheryl’s Flour Garden Bakery and Coffee Bar employs 12 people.

It is open from 6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. It is closed on Sundays.

The business can be reached at 563-564-8721.

COMING HOME

An Iowa native returned to her home state and opened a new loan production office in downtown Dubuque.

Ellen Sinkey recently opened Movement Mortgage at 210 Jones St. in Dubuque. Movement Mortgage has 650 branches nationally and is the seventh-largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S.

The company provides upfront underwriting and aims to complete mortgage processing within seven business days.

“The mortgage process can be overwhelming,” Sinkey said. “Our goal is to make things as easy and streamlined as possible.”

For Sinkey, the opening of the Dubuque branch represents a homecoming of sorts.

Both she and her husband are Iowa natives. Sinkey is from Guttenberg, and her spouse hails from Iowa City. They previously lived in Minnesota but always hoped to return to their Iowa roots.

“That was the plan: to start a family and come back to Iowa,” Sinkey said.

Sinkey currently is the sole worker at Movement Mortgage in Dubuque, but she said she is interested in hiring.

Through its Movement Foundation, the mortgage lender has reinvested $47 million into the communities where it operates. Sinkey hopes that type of impact will be realized in Dubuque.

“I’m excited to get involved with local nonprofits and give back to the area here,” she said.

Movement Mortgage can be reached at 563-880-2485. The hours are by appointment.

NEW CHAPTER

Nearly three years ago, a popular skating, snowboarding and piercing business on University Avenue closed its doors.

A portion of that beloved business is now embarking on a new chapter in downtown Dubuque.

Reality Check & Piercings By Barb recently opened at 962 Main St. The enterprise is located within Britni Farber Beauty.

The new offering is a spinoff of longtime business Reality Check, which opened in 1997 on University Avenue and closed about two decades later. The business – owned by Barb and Mike Heitz — was perhaps best known as a hub for skateboarders.

Over the years, however, the location also established a reputation as a popular and reliable place to get piercings. When Reality Check closed, many customers expressed their sadness to Barb.

“I was going to retire, but a lot of people kept asking me to come back,” she recalled.

Britni Farber Beauty has occupied a spot in the 900 block of Main Street for more than two years. For Barb Heitz, partnering with the business was a perfect fit.

“I didn’t want to open up a shop on my own, and I figured it would be better to partner with someone,” she said. “I think going into a salon setting works out really well.”

In addition to providing piercings, the new incarnation of Reality Check sells jewelry and women’s clothing.

Barb said the business is open from noon until 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. It also is open by appointment.

The business can be reached at 563-690-8323.