Biz Buzz: New physical therapy business; son takes over funeral homes; car wash to open at familiar Dubuque site

Physical therapist Wes Wedewer is co-owner of Physical Therapy Solutions at 3080 North Cascade Road in Dubuque, along with his mentor, Jason Putz. PHOTO CREDIT: EILEEN MESLAR

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states each Monday. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque and in Darlington and Shullsburg, Wis.

A local resident joined forces with his mentor to open a new physical therapy office in Dubuque.

Physical Therapy Solutions opened its doors this month at 3080 North Cascade Road. Co-owners Wesley Wedewer and Jason Putz have a relationship that dates back to the mid-2000s.

Wedewer was a patient when he met Putz, who has owned Physical Therapy Solutions in Dyersville, Iowa, for 17 years. Impressed by his first interactions with Putz, Wedewer developed an interest in physical therapy and later interned at Physical Therapy Solutions.

Wedewer attended physical therapy school in Atlanta but ultimately returned home to reconnect with Putz and jump-start his career.

“It is a dream come true coming back to work with my original mentor,” he said.

Wedewer believes this relationship will translate to Dubuque patients receiving top-notch services.

He noted that Physical Therapy Solutions treats children and adults. The practice also cares for athletes.

“We take an individualistic approach with our patients and really cater the physical therapy directly to their goals to make them move better and feel better,” Wedewer said.

Putz started Physical Therapy Solutions in Dyersville in 2003. Over the years, about 20 aspiring physical therapists have observed him.

One of these students approached him in 2012 about opening a physical therapy practice in Manchester, Iowa, leading to the second location for the business.

The Dubuque location marks the second started by one of Putz’s proteges and the third overall.

“It is very humbling to me that I have worked with these individuals and they’ve gone on to become physical therapists,” he said.

Physical Therapy Solutions in Dubuque can be reached at 563-231-9900.

CARRYING ON THE TRADITION

A new generation is taking the reins at a longtime funeral business in southwest Wisconsin.

Justin Erickson became the owner of Erickson Funeral Home earlier this year following the retirement of his father, Brent. The business has been in the family for more than a century and Justin will represent the fourth generation of his family to lead it.

The business now has locations in Darlington, Shullsburg and Argyle.

Justin spent many of his formative years helping with the family business. As a child, he would clean around the funeral home, and in his early teen years, he would assist with the lawn maintenance.

By high school, he was helping during visitations.

Even so, he wasn’t entirely sure that he wanted to carry on the family business.

In fact, he moved to Wyoming and earned a degree in outdoor education.

However, the experience of losing his grandfather and a childhood friend convinced Justin that the family business was where he belonged.

“I had this feeling that, if anyone should be taking care of them, it should be me,” Justin recalled. “I had a strong feeling that this is something I wanted to do. It was time for me to get back into that.”

He earned his Associate of Applied Science degree from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Ill., which further prepared him to fill his father’s shoes.

Justin admitted feeling some pressure associated with taking over the family business. But he also feels prepared for the challenge.

“This is a business that has always been held to a very high standard,” Justin said. “You want to do the best job for those you are serving. It is paramount for me to carry on those traditions and the manner of business we have been known for.”

CAR WASH LOCATIONS COMING TO DUBUQUE

A car wash chain is gearing up to open two new locations in Dubuque.

Clean Getaway Express Tunnel Wash soon will start construction at 1895 John F. Kennedy Road, according to co-owner Scott Packee. He said this location will open in the fall of 2020.

The empty lot previously has been home to businesses that included Choo Choo Charlie’s, next to McDonald’s. A building permit filed with the City of Dubuque puts the cost of the project at $1.6 million.

He emphasized that a second Dubuque location is in the works, although he said he could not yet disclose that location. He said the two will collectively employ at least 30 people.

Clean Getaway Express Tunnel Wash already boasts multiple locations in Illinois. Packee said he was inspired to open new locations in Dubuque after visiting the city and leaving with a

positive impression.

“I have always been very fond of Dubuque,” he said. “It is a very welcoming community, and the people I’ve encountered are amazingly friendly. I think Dubuque is a diamond in the rough.”

The tunnel wash system employed by Clean Getaway allows customers to remain in their vehicles the entire time. After the vehicle is “pre-washed,” it is carried on a conveyer through a system capable of washing 100 cars in an hour.

Packee said his staff’s strict emphasis on cleaning and maintaining equipment ensures customers will have a positive experience.

“We’re trying to give customers a better, smarter way to wash their vehicle,” he said.