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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Galena, Ill.; Potosi, Wis.; and Dubuque.
A popular, longtime Galena business is under new ownership.
Galena Canning Co., 106 and 107 S. Main St., now is co-owned by Jeff and Sherae Holder and Ric and Pat Walsh. The Holders and Walshes are friends and have been neighbors for 25 years.
“We do think of (the business) as a Galena institution, and that comes with a lot of responsibilities,” Jeff Holder said. “We want to make sure we’re good stewards of this institution, and we understand how special it is to Galena and its visitors.”
Holder has worked in the food industry his entire adult life and became connected with Galena Canning in 2006 when he became the business’ Sysco Foods representative.
At that time, the business was owned by chef Ivo Puidak, who founded it in the early 1990s.
“He and I remained friends,” Holder said.
Puidak died in March 2020. His family ran the business after his death, and Holder came on board in January 2021 to help launch the company’s wholesale business.
“2021 was the absolutely busiest year we ever had,” Holder said. “There was pent-up demand from COVID. People that hadn’t been to Galena in a year or two all came last year. I could see the potential.”
Holder said he approached his wife about buying Galena Canning after Puidak’s family decided not to continue running it. Holder then contacted Ric Walsh for advice on finding the capital to buy the business.
“He came back a few days later and said, ‘I found somebody interested in partnering with you,’” Holder recalled. “I said, ‘Oh, really? Who?’ and he said, ‘Me.’”
The Holders and Walshes officially became the new owners in May. Now, they are focused on rebranding and growing the business in wholesale and online sales, Jeff Holder said.
“We have plans to continue to grow, long story short,” he said. “If you’re not going forward, you’re going backward.”
Galena Canning Co. is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The business can be reached at 815-777-2882 and found at galenacanning.com.
Area freight brokerage business moving to Dubuque
A freight brokerage business soon will move its Peosta, Iowa, office to Dubuque.
River City Logistics will move into the fourth floor of 131 W. 10th St., across from Sherwin-Williams Paint Store, by Aug. 15. The company also has an office in Reno, Nev.
“More than anything, I think we really, really want to continue to show our commitment to the Dubuque community and the Dubuque area,” said Director of Operations Nick Lester. “Obviously, we love Peosta, but it’s a space issue at this point.”
Twenty-two employees work in the Peosta office, but officials intend to double that count by the end of the year.
“Our growth is basically fueled by our brokers division,” Lester said. “You can see a lot of brokerages that are struggling right now, but we’re excelling because of our service to clients.”
Initially, River City Logistics only will occupy the fourth floor of its new Dubuque location. Renovations and furniture at the space have cost around $250,000.
“We have first right of refusal on the third floor, which we fully intend to move into in the future,” Lester added.
River City Logistics can be reached at 800-853-8418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southwest Wisconsin sisters open store in Potosi
Sisters who grew up in Potosi have opened a store together on Main Street.
A Little Bit of Everything is open at 108 N. Main St., across the street from Potosi Village Hall and Police Department. The store is operated under Hometown Sisters LLC, which was started by Potosi natives and sisters Becky Burbach, Betty Leeser and Anita Blindert.
“We always wanted a business and talked about having a business individually,” Burbach said. “The opportunity came up for a building, and it all kind of fell into place to own a business together.”
Burbach said the sisters have thrown out ideas for other ventures under Hometown Sisters LLC, but they plan to focus on their store for the time being.
A Little Bit of Everything focuses on gift and craft items, and new merchandise is brought out frequently. Some items are antiques owned by the sisters’ mother, and the store also will sell their collector items, such as Precious Moments and collector Barbies.
Burbach noted that the store also sells succulents and floral arrangements that she puts together, and she is teaching her sisters how to make the arrangements as well.
“People comment when they come into the store on the variety of items that we have,” Burbach said. “They say, ‘Oh, you really do have a little bit of everything.’”
Burbach said she and her sisters look forward to being a part of the Potosi community in a new way, including helping revitalize Main Street.
“Potosi is really evolving and branching out in different areas like tourism, and a lot of different, exciting things are happening there, and we’re happy to be a part of it,” she said. “(Working with my sisters) is the best part of it. We’re getting to spend time together and having fun together. It’s bringing us even closer than where we’ve been before.”
A Little Bit of Everything is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The store can be reached at 608-763-2223 and found on Facebook at bit.ly/3RY24rr.