Biz Buzz: RiverBluff Collective opening Dubuque space; Cassville coffee shop opens; art gallery, bed & breakfast debuts in Maquoketa

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

A well-known local cannabis business is opening a retail space and lounge in Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District.

The grand opening for RiverBluff Collective Retail Store & Lounge is slated for this weekend. The business offers the consumable and topical cannabis and plant-infused products RiverBluff already is known for — along with a few additions — while also providing a space for people to partake in them.

RiverBluff purchased The Magnolia building that was formerly home to Bread & Vine Dubuque, The Driftless Social Club and other entities. Inside is the retail and lounge space, as well as RiverBluff’s corporate offices, distribution center and production kitchen.

“When this building came up for sale, we just had to have it,” said Ali Gansemer, who along with her brothers, DJ and Joe Loeffelholz, and Josh McGinnis owns the company. “We knew we wanted to open in Iowa, but it was a matter of finding the right building.”

The new lounge space will provide sitting areas for people to socialize and consume RiverBluff’s various products. Among the offerings will be THC-infused cocktails created by on-site mixologists and a new THC-infused Bluff THC Soda Pop, which is made in partnership with 7 Hills Brewing Co. The soda pop includes Delta 9 hemp-derived THC and flavors including grape, lime and punch and are compliant with Iowa’s laws for per-container THC dosage.

The interior of the space follows RiverBluff’s green theme. That color scheme extends to a full-size motorcycle bolted to the wall above the bar — a remnant from the property’s previous resident that now, too, is green.

“There is still some decorating, but most of this was beautiful when we walked in,” Gansemer said.

The business’ grand opening celebration will span three days, April 5 through April 7. As a promotion, the first 15 people through the door on all three days will receive free RiverBluff merchandise, Gansemer said.

“This (type of business) has been in our head for four years,” Gansemer said. “(THC) is medically helpful. It’s versatile. It’s recreationally helpful.”

RiverBluff Collective’s new retail and lounge space is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit or search for the business on Facebook.

Cassville couple opens coffee shop

Ron and Rachel Schergen believed they needed a new lease on life.

Living in the Chicagoland area while raising three kids, the couple decided a slower lifestyle in a small town fit them better. So, about a year ago, the Schergens moved to Cassville. Last month, they opened Driftless Coffee Co. downtown at 101 W. Amelia St.

“We jumped in head first,” said Rachel Schergen. “The focus is small-town vibes, strong customer service experiences and craft drinks.”

Driftless offers coffee, cold brew and artisan teas along with a breakfast and lunch menu.

“Coffee is great, but we also have a passion for tea,” Schergen said. “We want to expose people to various tea flavors, and I think we have been successful so far in that.”

Meat-lover or veggie quiche is included on the breakfast menu, alongside avocado toast and a variety of bakery items. Lunch options include salads, sandwiches and a soup of the day.

The Schergens said a signature dish so far has been a take on the classic Rueben sandwich called “The Rachel.” It’s topped with turkey, cole slaw, swiss cheese and a house dressing that will remind consumers of both a Russian and thousand island dressing, Schergen said.

“Our food leans toward healthy options that are grab-and-go and relatively easy for people to order takeout,” Schergen said.

Driftless Coffee Co. is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For more information and a menu, visit or the businesses’ Facebook page.

Lifelong creatives open bed and breakfast in Maquoketa

Through the various business undertakings of Naser and Patricia Shahrivar, there has been a common denominator: art.

For the lifelong creatives, their newest venture in Maquoketa is no different.

D’Arte Manor Gallery and B&B combines the Shahrivars’ experience operating a hospitality business with providing a place to display their art, for which they have received various accolades over the years.

The Italianate Victorian brick home on Maquoketa’s Second Street sits near downtown and offers six comfortable bedrooms decorated with the couple’s creations.

“It’s a perfect place to have a gallery,” Naser Shahrivar said. “We love the house. It is a beautiful home.”

The Shahrivars’ work has taken them around eastern Iowa, all while continuing to produce their art and creative work, which includes portraits and landscapes by Patricia and abstracts and small-town panoramas by Naser — including of Iowa towns such as Manchester, Guttenberg, Elkader and Dyersville. Many of these pieces are on display in D’Arte Manor, which means “Art” Manor in Italian.

Before starting their most recent adventure in Maquoketa, the Shahrivars renovated and then operated Old Brewery Bed & Breakfast in Guttenberg for nearly 20 years. After that, the couple purchased three downtown buildings in Central City and rehabilitated them and turned them into a gift shop and art gallery.

Their movements are inspired by their art, which is partially why Maquoketa proved to be their next destination.

“We came to the Maquoketa Art Experience to a show,” Patricia said. “The town and people are wonderful and very welcoming and friendly. Everyone said we should move here. … We wanted to be a part of the artist community here. There’s never a dull moment. They have so much to offer in this community.”

When the home on Second Street went up for sale, they knew it was meant for them.

All the rooms in the bed and breakfast have queen beds and are themed, Patricia said. One room on the main floor is dubbed the “Traveling King’s Room” and has a whirlpool bathtub. Another room is the “Arts Master Room” and features a bay window. Yet another room follows a “Cinderella” theme.

Guests are treated to a homemade breakfast menu that varies throughout stays and includes blueberry waffles, omelets, muffins, French toast, bacon and other offerings.

A grand opening is slated for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6.

To book a room at the home, located at 311 S. Second St. in Maquoketa, call or text 319-551-8343 or email For more information about the Shahrivars’ art, visit