Biz Buzz: New store opens at Kennedy Mall; Dubuque dog groomer opens new shop; floral store opens in Galena

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Galena, Ill.

A pair of storefronts have opened at Kennedy Mall for the geologically inclined and discount-driven.

World Earth Minerals opened last week at the Dubuque mall and offers a variety of rocks, minerals and ores, as well as related literature and collectibles. Attached is a storefront for This & That, which offers discount merchandise.

The storefronts are located on the mall’s north end near Daily Threads and Fun Station.

“It’s been a huge effort to get this up and running, but we’ve had a great staff working seven days a week to make this happen,” general manager Steve Mueller said. “We’re ready to get going.”

World Earth Minerals sells a variety of metallurgical and geological items and has an attached engraving studio for custom orders and designs.

The store’s numerous shelves are filled with amethyst, abalone, obsidian and more, and a chart is available for browsers to reference if they are interested in the properties and characteristics of the different stones.

The store also sells collectible metal coins made using metal mined from an 880-acre plot of land the company owns in Wyoming.

“The history of the property is very interesting, and we want to highlight that connection,” Mueller said. “The Mormon Trail goes right through the property, and you can still see the wagon marks.”

This & That, a subsidiary of World Earth Minerals, also opened last week and offers a variety of merchandise at discount prices — usually priced around 25% of typical retail cost. Items are new but bought in bulk to allow for the lower prices of the toys, clothing, furniture and more.

Across the hall from the store, Mueller said the company also is opening World Earth Coffee, a coffee bar for mall workers and patrons.

The Dubuque setup is World Earth Minerals’ “flagship location,” Mueller said, and the plan is to replicate it in other malls across Iowa and — eventually — the county.

“We have huge growth plans,” he said. “The next store is going to be in the Quad Cities, and it’ll just go from there.”

The store is open seven days a week during regular mall hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The coffee bar is set to open later this month.

Dubuque dog groomer goes solo

An area dog groomer has started his own business on Dubuque’s Central Avenue.

Dave’s Dog Grooming recently opened at 2160 Central Ave. The by-appointment shop offers full-service dog grooming for canines of all ages, sizes and dispositions.

“I do everything from little toy poodles to Great Danes,” said owner Dave Esser. “I’m like a dog whisperer. … I haven’t had a dog I couldn’t work with yet, even if they’ve had problems at other shops.”

Esser began grooming dogs in his 20s before taking a break to help his parents with various family business ventures. He came back to the grooming field roughly a year ago at another area shop before breaking out on his own when the Central Avenue space became available.

He is currently the only groomer at the shop, which he said ensures dogs spend their entire grooming appointment with one person instead of moving between stations with different workers.

“I do it myself from start to finish,” he said. “That’s another bonus for the dog because they can feel comfortable that way since it’s just the one person they work with.”

Dave’s Dog Grooming is open by appointment, and interested owners can reach the business by phone at 563-313-0610. Regular updates also are posted on the Dave’s Dog Grooming Facebook page.

New floral shop opens in Galena

A new floral shop has opened on Galena’s Main Street.

Willow on Main opened over the weekend at 309 N. Main St. The store offers a variety of fresh flowers, gifts and related items. The shop is a “sister store” to Cuba City (Wis.) Greenhouse and is owned by the same couple, Christina and Bill Taylor.

“We’re really excited to bring this sort of service to the Galena market,” Christina Taylor said. “Flowers are such a great gift, and it’s a special way to show that you’re thinking about someone.”

The Taylors have been looking for a Galena location for several years, she said, hoping to tap into the city’s booming tourist market while also serving local customers.

The Main Street location became available late last year, and Taylor said it instantly was clear the space was a good fit.

“It’s right there on Main Street, but it still has parking for our delivery vehicles,” she explained. “It was just the perfect location.”

The shop opened Saturday and already is busy preparing for the impending Valentine’s Day holiday. The store will act as a sister location to Cuba City Greenhouse, which will continue to operate in southwest Wisconsin.

The couple plans to host a variety of community workshops at Willow on Main around various floral themes, Taylor added.

In addition to in-store shopping, the shop also offers local delivery services and creates floral arrangements for events such as weddings, graduations and funerals.

“We work with a wide array of events and services on a weekly basis,” Taylor said. “We provide flowers for funeral services, weddings, for a new baby or a birthday. It’s very rewarding to be involved in celebrating so many of life’s special moments.”

Willow on Main is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The store can be reached at 815-402-2592, and regular updates are posted on its Facebook page.