Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we highlight developments from Dubuque and Bellevue, Iowa, as well as Galena, Ill.
For as long as Gloria Gaber can remember, she has had a deep interest in flowers.
Gaber vividly recalls “being around flowers” as a kid, often helping her mother tend the family garden. As an adult, she has done the floral arrangements for her daughters’ weddings.
With the recent purchase of White Florist in Dubuque, Gaber and her husband, Jeff, finally decided to take this lifelong pastime and turn it into a profession.
“I have always wanted to own a flower shop,” Gaber recalled. “I saw this opportunity, and I couldn’t resist.”
The Gabers purchased White Florist in downtown Dubuque last week.
The new owners expanded the hours so the business is open on Saturdays, according to Gloria. They soon plan to grow the product selection, including adding a wide range of jewelry and other gift items.
Gloria feels the location, at 1209 Main St., is an ideal spot for the business.
“I love this part of town,” she said. “The people around here are very friendly, and being close to the farmers market is great for us.”
For the time being, the business employs just one person in addition to Gloria. That translates to busy days for Gloria, who said she doesn’t mind putting in long hours. The new business represents a new challenge, she said.
“I am both excited and a little bit nervous,” she said.
White Florist is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Gaber added that the business soon could add Sunday hours as well. It can be reached at 563-583-1797.
CAR WASH MAKES UPGRADES
A series of changes at a Bellevue business have added convenience and accessibility for customers.
The Car Wash in Bellevue recently replaced old equipment and added new products, according to co-owner Chase Kueter. The changes will continue with additional renovations this summer.
Kueter said the business, at 800 State St., recently replaced its pair of aging gas pumps.
Customers previously had to enter the store to purchase gasoline. Now, they can buy gas at the pump, even during hours when The Car Wash’s store is not open.
“It allows people to fuel up in the middle of the night,” Kueter said. “It helps them, and it helps us, too.”
The Car Wash also added new products in its store, the most notable of which have been a selection of items from Edgewood Meats. Kueter said the new food offerings include everything from brats and breakfast items to a diverse range of meat sticks.
Interior renovations are underway at the store. Kueter said a new store layout will improve customer flow and allow the business to further diversify its product selection.
“The changes to the layout are still in the works at this point but will be completed by the end of the summer,” he said.
Kueter and his brother, Devon, purchased Bellevue’s longtime car wash from Jerry and Karen Theisen in the fall of 2019, following more than three decades of ownership by the Theisen family.
The Car Wash is open daily from 4:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. The business can be reached at 563-872-5716.
NEW COFFEE SHOP OPENS
Three years after starting a local roasting operation, a Galena business owner now has a coffee shop to showcase his creations.
Galena Roasters Coffee Shop opened at 118 N. Main St. in late May.
Co-owner Earl Thompson said he was quickly drawn to the art deco storefront, which features large windows that allow passersby an intimate glance into the space. Thompson also was attracted to the location, which is nestled within the portion of Galena that has been closed to vehicles and established as a hub for outdoor dining and pedestrian traffic.
“When the town is busy, we are right in the middle of it,” he said.
Thompson’s journey to this point can be traced back to 2018, when he began roasting coffee on the third floor of the property that houses The Grateful Gourmet, a Galena-based kitchen supply shop owned by his wife.
Galena Roasters initially focused on providing coffee for The Grateful Gourmet but expanded its wholesale presence consistently over the past few years.
Thompson said he attended roasting school and began selling his coffee to local coffee shops, Airbnb locations and other local businesses in the area.
“I became more and more interested in it,” he said. “I sort of got bitten by the bug.”
Galena Roaster Coffee Shop is a joint venture between Thompson and business partner Paul Auwerter. In addition to selling coffee, espresso, cold brew and other beverages, the shop sells a variety of sandwiches, snacks and baked goods.
Thompson said the early response to the business has been positive.
“We’ve had positive feedback on the drinks, and people seem to love the space,” he said. “It has been going well.”
Thompson hopes the shop will expose more people to his coffee products and, in turn, help him expand the wholesale footprint of Galena Roasters.
Galena Roasters Coffee Shop employs nine workers. It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week. The business can be reached at 815-541-0941.