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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Dyersville, Iowa, and Fennimore, Wis.
Officials say a Dyersville manufacturing facility has had a successful first three months, and they hope the facility can expand further.
Zero Zone, 2336 Industrial Parkway SW, recently shipped out its first refrigeration system completely made in its Dyersville facility to a convenience store in Beloit, Wis.
The company, which also has locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota, manufactures refrigeration systems for commercial and industrial customers. The Dyersville facility began operations on Feb. 1.
“I can’t say enough positive things about the folks we’re hiring out there,” said Rick Steer, vice president and general manager of the Zero Zone systems division.
The Dyersville location started operations in February with about a half-dozen employees. Now, that number has grown to 25.
“Our plan is to get to 50,” he said. “But we want to do it wisely. When we started, we had just one production lane. Our intent is to get to three production lanes. Once we have three going, we should be up to 50 people.”
Steer noted that the work done by Zero Zone employees requires a lot of training, some of which has been completed by Northeast Iowa Community College. Other training has been done at the company’s Ramsey, Minn., location.
Along with adding employees, Steer said he hopes that the company can further expand its Dyersville footprint by adding on to its 52,500-square-foot facility. He said plans to expand are not yet definitive.
He added that the Dyersville community has been a great place for Zero Zone’s newest location.
“We had that much faith in the community and the economic development folks,” he said. “We knew they wouldn’t let us fail. It’s been awesome, and we’re going to continue to grow.”
More information about the company can be found at zero-zone.com.
Fennimore vet clinic moves to bigger location
A Fennimore veterinary clinic has moved to a bigger location.
Fennimore Veterinary Clinic opened last week at 2025 Lincoln Ave., down the street from its previous location at 1064 Lincoln Ave. Owner Tom Hermsen said the move brought the clinic’s size from 1,100 square feet to 4,500 square feet.
“We’re hopefully looking to grow this business,” he said. “We have two vets and two office staff. We’re looking to add some staff as we grow.”
Hermsen said the new location previously was a Jehovah’s Witnesses church, but the building sat empty for months after the Fennimore congregation consolidated with the congregation in Belmont, Wis.
Hermsen said the building was purchased for the clinic in April 2021. Not only is the new location right off the highway ideal, he said, but the new space also is more friendly to smaller animals.
“The agriculture part of our business has stabilized and is probably declining,” he said. “The number of farms is decreasing all the time, so small animals are driving the business now. The business used to be 90% large animals, 10% small, but now, it’s probably pretty close to 50-50.”
Fennimore Veterinary Clinic is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and from 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The clinic can be reached at 608-822-6417.
Dubuque jeweler expands with private bridal salon
A Dubuque jeweler has more than doubled its store space, allowing for expanded services.
McCoy Goldsmith & Jeweler, 261 Main St., added 427 square feet to its 203-square-foot space. The additional space, which used to be public restrooms next to the store, will be used as a private bridal salon. The rest of the sales space will be used for fashion jewelry.
“We have such a tight space, and we were wanting to focus our energy on engagement rings, wedding bands, everything bridal,” said co-owner Jennifer McCoy. “With our bridal salon, we can focus on the couples in a private space.”
She said appointments are not required for the bridal salon, but the store encourages that they be made to ensure a staff member is available to assist. The salon was first used by a client on Wednesday.
Work on the bridal salon began after McCoy and her husband, Jonathan, bought the building late last year. The business has been in the McCoy family since 1973.
The business’ manager, Samantha Swift, said they wanted to keep the historic feel of the store in the bridal salon by retaining some of the exposed brick walls. The salon also has a bright, modern feel with green and white walls.
Swift added that the expansion also gives McCoy Goldsmith & Jeweler the space to double its selection.
“It’s really going to be a one-stop shop,” she said. “We’re really, really excited to give clients the privacy to select their engagement rings. It’s one of the biggest purchases they’ll make, outside of a house and a car.”
McCoy Goldsmith & Jeweler is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and by appointment on Sundays and Mondays. The store can be reached at 563-556-5325.