Biz Buzz: New owners scoop up ice cream shop; Platteville home decor business opens; new look for Galena coffee shop

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque, Iowa; Platteville, Wis.; and Galena, Ill.

A Dubuque ice cream shop has a new name and new owners, but the same popular ice cream.

Bliss Ice Cream held its grand opening on Friday at 198 Main St. in Dubuque. The location previously housed Ice Cream U Scream.

Despite the new moniker and the spruced-up interior of the business — which features pink-and-blue walls and tables with bases that were crafted from old sewing machines — Bliss Ice Cream will sell ice cream from Madison, Wis.-based Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co., just as Ice Cream U Scream did.

“It’s very obvious that people love that ice cream, and we love it, too,” said co-owner Suzanne Kearney.

Kearney and her husband, Michael Braddock, moved to Dubuque from Vancouver, Wash., in September. The move brought them closer to two of Suzanne’s adult children, Jake and Jordan Kearney, who had lived in Dubuque for some time.

“We thought we would retire, but then this became our retirement,” Braddock said with a wry smile, gesturing around the ice cream shop.

The couple bought the building, which also contains three apartments on the upper floors and back portion of the building they intend to rent out. Braddock said the family eventually wants to open a “speakeasy” in the basement of the building and plans to add coffee to the ice cream shop’s menu.

For now, the business has more than 20 flavors, including nondairy options, and offers cones, sundaes, shakes, floats and more.

“We’re all outgoing people, so (we’re looking forward to) just meeting the people and being a part of the community,” Braddock said.

Bliss Ice Cream is located at 198 Main St. in Dubuque and can be reached at 360-771-1242. The business is currently open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Platteville home decor business opens

A Platteville business specializing in home decor has opened a physical storefront.

Hewitt’s Handicraft Haven opened at 25 E. Main St. in Platteville last month. The business offers mixed media decor, including paintings and personalized lasered custom goods.

Julie Hewitt, who owns the business with her husband, Pete, said she has always had a love for crafting, inspired by her mother.

Several years ago, the Hewitts purchased a laser engraver and began making and selling custom lasered goods at their home.

They moved their manufacturing operation to a space at the Platteville Business Incubator in the fall of 2021. However, that location lacked a retail space, which the new Main Street location will provide.

“We do everything from engraved cutting boards to memorial lanterns, and we can engrave on glass, slate, rock, wood and more,” Julie Hewitt said.

Customers can purchase pieces with pre-engraved messages or customize the text for events such as weddings, anniversaries or memorial services. The Hewitts plan to add classes and workshops once they are established in the space.

“I think it’s really given us the opportunity to expand what we can offer in our community for these types of gifts, things you’re not going to find at big box stores,” Julie said.

Hewitt’s Handicraft Haven is currently open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Those hours might be extended in the coming weeks.

For updates and more information, visit “Hewitt’s Handicraft Haven” on Facebook. The business also can be reached at 608-898-4321 or at

New look for Galena coffee shop

A new Galena, Ill., coffee shop promises to give customers an out-of-this-world experience.

Cosmic Oasis: Drink Emporium plans to open soon on Galena’s Main Street. The location most recently housed Wanda’s Coffee House, which itself had replaced longtime coffee shop Mean Bean Roasters.

The business has a “retro space” theme, according to co-owner Alison Vanderpool. Among other decorations, she has painted a mural inside the shop that features former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant in an old-fashioned spacesuit.

“We want to make it a fun space to visit, somewhere you want to come and take a picture for your Instagram,” she said.

Vanderpool and her husband, Shawn Vanderpool, partnered with Amelia Wilson, proprietor of Amelia’s Galena Ghost Tours and Under the Lamplight Dinner Theater, to open Cosmic Oasis.

The business offers coffees, teas, fresh lemonade, plant-based energy drinks and more. Vanderpool said the team also plans to eventually add grab-and-go snacks to the menu.

All three co-owners have worked in the service industry locally, Alison Vanderpool said, and are eager to bring their skills to a new business.

Vanderpool also has a background in special education and blind rehabilitation services. She helped launch local nonprofit Audible Visions, which makes tourism more accessible to people with low vision and other disabilities through audio description.

Vanderpool hopes to combine aspects of this work with Cosmic Oasis, such as by creating a curbside pick-up system so customers need not navigate the steps up to the business’ front door, or by employing consumers from The Workshop, a Galena organization serving adults with disabilities.

“I hope this helps us be a part of downtown Galena more as a business owner … working to make it more accessible,” she said.

Cosmic Oasis: Drink Emporium is located at 240 N. Main St. in Galena. Initial hours of operation are tentatively set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Monday. For updates and more information, visit Cosmic Oasis: Drink Emporium on Facebook or