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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Manchester, Iowa, as well as Potosi, Wis.
A new store in downtown Dubuque sells a plethora of gifts, chocolate and gelato.
The Sorpresa Gifts opened in late July at 269 Main St., the former location of Chocolaterie Stam. The business is owned by Jennifer McCoy, who also co-owns McCoy Goldsmith & Jeweler, which is located next door.
“We don’t have enough retail (downtown),” McCoy said. “We have several great women’s boutiques, but we don’t have enough retail, especially for gifts.”
McCoy and her husband, Jonathan, officially purchased the building that includes McCoy Goldsmith & Jeweler and The Sorpresa Gifts at the beginning of the year. Some of the extra space was used to expand the jewelry store with a bridal salon, and the rest of the business became The Sorpresa Gifts.
The new shop features multiple flavors of gelato, or Italian ice cream. The gelato is made in-house, and flavors rotate. The shop also makes sorbetto, a dairy-free frozen treat.
The Sorpresa Gifts manager Sharon Coleman said the most popular flavors so far include cheesecake-based flavors, as well as creme brulee and tiramisu.
“It’s quite fun and creative to come up with all the different flavor ideas,” she said.
All of the shop’s chocolates are Chocolaterie Stam sweets made in Des Moines, McCoy said.
“We’re excited to bring Chocolate Stam back to Dubuque,” she said. “They are fine European chocolates, so we have to maintain the temperature in here at 65 to 68 degrees so they don’t melt.”
The Sorpresa Gifts also sells a wide variety of gifts, such as baby items, pet items, popcorn, apparel and maple syrup. The gift items all come from other small businesses and feature information on each company.
“It’s neat to come up to each brand and see if they’re female-owned or eco-friendly,” Coleman said.
Both McCoy and Coleman said the store has been doing well since opening, with customers able to find something for everyone on the shelves.
‘Sorpresa’ means ‘surprise’ in Italian and Spanish,” McCoy said. “We want it to be a surprise to find a treat in the store. We want it to be a surprise at how fun and how many great products there are. We’re all about spoiling yourself and your friends and family.”
The Sorpresa Gifts is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Manchester pharmacy moving locations
A Manchester pharmacy soon will move locations, and the business also will cease operating its gift shop.
Widner Drug Store, currently located at 111 S. Franklin St., will be moving to 102 Legion St. Owner Jonathan Kallenbach said the goal is to move into the new space Monday, Aug. 29, after the interior of the new building is redone.
“The pharmacy is moving, and the rest of the business is closing,” he said. “A lot of it just has to do with trying to be in a location that’s a little bit better for a pharmacy. It’s right across the street from the hospital.”
The new location of the pharmacy is the former American Legion building, as well as the former site of Sarah’s Flowers & Gifts.
Kallenbach said the Legion Street space will give the pharmacy a newer building from which to operate, as well as a parking lot for customers.
The hours of the drug store will remain the same, and all employees will be moving to the new building.
Kallenbach said he did not know what will take the pharmacy’s place at the Franklin Street location.
Widner Drug Store is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Only the drive-thru is open on Sundays.
Employee becomes owner of Wisconsin bar
An employee of a longtime southwest Wisconsin bar has become the owner.
Kelly Runde now owns Haverland’s Bar, 125 Tennyson St. in Potosi. Runde had worked at the bar for about a year and a half before taking over the business from Joel and Sherrill Haverland.
“I previously worked at a different bar in Potosi for six years, and I cooked at a bar in Kieler (Wis.) all through college,” Runde said. “I kind of wanted to do something for myself.”
Runde said Joel Haverland’s grandfather started the bar in the 1930s, and it has stayed in his family since then. Runde took over in July after Joel and Sherrill Haverland decided to retire.
Runde said her ownership has been going well.
“As a business owner, you’re going to have little stuff that pops up all of the time that you’re not really ready for,” she said with a laugh. “You have to take it as it comes. It’s going pretty good.”
She said she enjoys that the bar’s patrons include both regulars from town and people who stop by on their travels that Runde gets to meet.
“It’s fun to sit and talk to people and learn about their lives,” she said.
To celebrate the bar’s ownership change, Runde recently hosted a street dance. She said she wanted to do something to show her appreciation for her patrons.
“I’m just excited to see what the next however many years have to offer,” she said. “Hopefully, business stays pretty decent, and I think it will with a community like this.”
But in terms of changes, Runde wants to stick to the bar’s roots.
“There’s just a few little cosmetic changes, but the previous owner had owned it for 45 years,” she said. “You don’t really want to fix what’s not broken.”
Haverland’s Bar opens at noon Tuesday through Sunday. It can be reached at 608-763-2373.