Biz Buzz Tuesday: Automotive business expanding; wedding venue earns top honors; hardware store changes hands

Seth Freeze (left) and Mike Keuter work on vehicles at J’s Performance in Dubuque on Friday. The company plans to move to a new location on Pennsylvania Avenue in the spring. PHOTO CREDIT: NICKI KOHL

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. This week we highlight developments in Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa.

More than a dozen years after launching their automotive business, Jeremy Robins and Jayme Kiernan are ready to expand their Dubuque operation.

J’s Performance will move to 5205 Pennsylvania Ave. this spring, according to Robins. The business, currently at 3120 Cedar Crest Ridge, was launched by Robins and Kiernan in 2006.

It provides a wide array of automotive services, including oil changes and work on brakes, suspensions, exhaust and electrical systems. The business also sells automotive accessories and products, which soon will be displayed in an expanded showroom.

“We’re moving into something that is a little bigger and will be more efficient for us,” said Robins. “This will allow us to continue providing the great service we’ve been doing for the last 14 years and add to the team we have here.”

J’s Performance employs three full-time technicians and one part-time worker.

The upcoming move was made possible by the relocation of multiple other local businesses.

Slumberland Furniture will relocate from its location at 4390 Dodge St. to a larger space in the Plaza 20 Shopping Center. Widmeier Flooring will move to the old Slumberland location and vacate the building on Pennsylvania, which freed up the necessary space for J’s Performance.

While there isn’t a precise date for the upcoming move, Robins has a general idea in mind.

“We will begin renovations in the beginning of April,” he said. “We are hopeful we can move there in the beginning or middle of May.”

Robins emphasized that the business will continue to operate out of its current location until it is ready to move.

J’s Performance can be reached at 563-584-0231.

WEDDING VENUE EARNS ACCLAIM

A wedding venue in Dubuque has earned national recognition.

Steeple Square, 101 E. 15th St., recently received the “Best of Weddings” accolade from The Knot, which operates a popular website and app that is utilized by soon-to-be-married couples and wedding vendors alike.

The Knot determines its “Best of Weddings” award by assessing reviews from couples, their families and wedding guests.

Steeple Square Campus Manager Melanie Bressler said it’s an honor to receive the accolade.

“To receive, or even be considered for, an award like this, you have to go above and beyond so you get those testimonials (from customers), and you are getting high ratings from those testimonials,” she said.

Steeple Square hosts both wedding ceremonies and receptions. The introduction of these wedding-related services was part of a broader restoration of the former St. Mary’s parish campus.

Bressler said the venue has been in the wedding business for about five years, a period during which interest has blossomed significantly.

“We have gotten busier and busier, and most of it has been through word of mouth,” she said.

Steeple Square can be reached at 563-235-3584.

HARDWARE STORE CHANGES HANDS

A longtime Bellevue hardware store is under new ownership. However, its emphasis on customer service and family will remain firmly intact.

Jesse and Jackie Kueter purchased Lampe True Value on the final day of 2020. Located at 220 S. Riverview Drive, the business now operates under the moniker Kueter True Value.

Jesse said he and his wife are eager to follow in the footsteps of Chris and Kathie Lampe, who had owned the business since 1995.

“This business has been a staple in the community here for a long time,” Jesse said. “The Lampes are also very active in the community. They get out and volunteer. We are trying to fill their shoes.”

Jesse worked at Lampe True Value when he was in high school, waiting on customers, stocking shelves and doing “odds and ends” around the shop.

While he is no longer the owner, Chris Lampe will continue to log part-time hours and pass along his knowledge to the store’s new owner. The 11 workers from the previous ownership remain employed under the new ownership.

The Kueters will continue to offer seasonal products, lawn and garden supplies, rental equipment and a wide variety of other products. On top of that, the business sells hunting and fishing licenses and offers pipe-fitting and glass-cutting services.

Jesse said he also will stock some new products, including technological items such as wireless routers.

“I will try to listen to what is missing (in the community) and try to add some of that here,” he said.

Kueter True Value is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. It can be reached at 563-872-4459.