Biz Buzz: Therapy provider thriving downtown; Dubuque food truck gaining following; salt company growing as winter approaches

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we feature multiple developments in Dubuque.

One year after opening a clinic in downtown Dubuque, a therapy services provider is connecting with new clients and observing the benefits of the new location.

Unified Therapy Services recently hosted a grand-opening event at its 1690 Elm St. clinic that was attended by patients, staff and physicians from across the region.

The location is on the second floor of Crescent Community Health Center. Rehab Director Kara Takes believes it has allowed the business to reach new demographics.

“We knew there were patients who had a difficult time getting out to our west side location, so when we heard about this opportunity, we really couldn’t pass it up,” she said. “It helps us reach people in the downtown, as well as those who live in Wisconsin and Illinois.”

Unified Therapy Services is an outpatient pediatric therapy clinic offering physical, occupational, speech-language and behavioral therapy. It also provides physical therapy services for adults.

In addition to the Elm Street facility, Unified Therapy Services continues to operate locations at 4121 and 4135 Pennsylvania Ave., as well as a location in Fennimore, Wis.

The space within Crescent Community Health Center includes gym areas for adult and pediatric clients. The adult space has features including a treadmill and a special arm bike, while the children’s area boasts a slide, swing set and rock wall.

Takes noted that the pandemic has created some hurdles for the Elm Street space. Related supply-chain issues delayed last year’s opening and might have complicated efforts to make area residents aware of the downtown services.

Even so, Unified Therapy Services is seeing positive trends.

“We have seen patient numbers increasing each month since we opened,” Takes said.

Unified Therapy Services can be reached at 563-583-4003.

Food truck gains following

A new food truck with an unorthodox name is building a following in Dubuque.

Enigma Food Truck opened for business in July. Head chef Tony Peter said the truck travels around town, serving a combination of public and private events.

“Everywhere we have been so far, the city has been really receptive,” he said.

Peter emphasized that it has taken collaboration and cooperation to get the new business off the ground. Enigma Food Truck is a joint venture with his business partner, Perry Pickel.

Peter credited his daughters with helping market the business and his son for coming up with the name. While some have expressed confusion over the moniker, Peter said, the name speaks to the ever-evolving nature of the food truck.

It has served everything from pork tenderloin and hamburgers, to quesadillas and chicken wings.

“We change all the time, and we are willing to do anything,” he said.

In his 50s, Peter’s career as a chef dates back to when he attended culinary school in his 20s.

He and Pickel initially planned to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant before the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 interfered with those plans. The duo ultimately found a food truck for sale in Atlanta and jumped at the opportunity to buy it, making the purchase in March before retrofitting the vehicle to their liking.

Enigma Food Truck can be followed at and reached at 563-291-0009.

Growing salt company

A Dubuque-based salt company has completed an acquisition that will further its reach in the Midwest.

Skyline Salt Solutions, headquartered at 165 Westside Court, recently acquired bulk assets from Champion Salt in St. Louis.

Mark Arthofer, president and owner of Skyline Salt, said this purchase means the company will operate in four markets this winter, adding Manitowoc, Wis. The business already serves customers in Dubuque, Chicago and St. Paul, Minn.

“This allows us to continue with our salt business and take it to another level,” he said.

Arthofer, who also has had a presence in the local construction industry, is no stranger to the salt business.

He began brokering sales of salt in 2005 and saw that business steadily rise. He recently formed Skyline Salt Solutions and, in conjunction with neighbor Link Hydraulic, created a mixing machine that applies liquid treatment to salt.

The treated salt is becoming increasingly popular for major customers such as contractors and municipalities.

“We use less product, and it is better for the environment,” Arthofer said.

Customers can purchase product that already has been treated at the Dubuque facility. In addition, staff members can travel and treat the product off site.

Given the nature of the company, it comes as little surprise that business levels for Skyline Salt peak during the colder months of the year. Arthofer said he has around 10 employees that work for him full time, while the staff balloons to about 75 in the winter.

Staff members include his son, Ben, who serves as vice president of the company.

“One day, I hope other generations of the family take the baton and run with it,” Mark Arthofer said of the business.

Skyline Salt Solutions can be reached at 563-556-1655, and interested individuals can learn more by visiting