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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we highlight developments from Platteville, Wis., and Dubuque.
A southwest Wisconsin resident with a decorated athletic history has brought a new fitness option to Platteville.
Shelley Dietz opened FIRE Fitness Camp at 1800 Vision Drive in February. The new location is part of a broader fitness chain that offers professionally coached, 30-minute group fitness sessions to its customers.
“I think there are a lot of people that want to get in better shape, but they need to be told what to do,” Dietz said. “And especially after the pandemic, with people being separated for so long, people enjoy the chance to work out in a group setting.”
Dietz moved to Cuba City about a year ago. Over the course of her life, she’s had a lengthy athletic career in various parts of Wisconsin.
Dietz played volleyball, basketball and softball while attending high school in Menasha. She then played on the basketball and golf teams at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
The first word in the name FIRE Fitness stands for functional, intensive, resistance, exercise — a quartet of words that Dietz said describes the nature of her business’s workouts.
The rigorous, half-hour workouts are held at six different times on each weekday and twice on Saturdays, giving clients a chance to attend classes when it suits their schedule. The classes have a different focus — such as arms, legs or full-body workouts — on various days of the week.
Dietz said residents have been receptive to her new business.
“Everyone who has stepped through the door so far has loved it,” she said. “They’ve enjoyed the intensity of the workouts, the shortness of it, and the flexibility of the times.”
FIRE Fitness in Platteville can be reached at 608-400-8336.
TAPROOM PLANS IMPROVEMENTS
A Dubuque taproom is sprucing up its outdoor seating area just in time for the summer.
Backpocket Taproom, 333 E. 10th St., is currently making a series of upgrades to the area directly outside its location in the Novelty Iron Works building, according to taproom owner Jacob Simmons.
In the past, the taproom featured some nondescript outdoor picnic tables that sat atop asphalt. However, Simmons admitted that the area lacked the desired ambiance and charm.
“We wanted to make some improvements, make it a space that has its own coziness and its own feel,” Simmons said.
To meet that end, Backpocket is resurfacing the area with brick pavers, putting in new seating options, creating multiple fire pits and installing a series of fountains.
The work is already underway, and Simmons said the changes will be completed by the end of the month.
Simmons framed the patio project as the latest in a series of multiple additions at the taproom in recent years. These new offerings have included a lower-level “beercade” featuring retro arcade games and a dining option known as Backpocket Bytes.
He’s confident there will be plenty of customers to enjoy the new, outdoor amenities.
“Business is totally coming back,” he said. “We’ve seen a steady uptick since about February, as people are getting vaccinated and looking forward to getting out.”
Backpocket Taproom can be reached at 563-582-1611.
BRIDAL SHOP MOVES FORWARD
A series of changes at a Platteville bridal boutique is breathing new life into the longtime business.
The owners of A&M Bridal Boutique recently changed its name to simply Bridal Boutique, updated its website and branding, and conducted significant interior renovations.
Tomi Gill said the business has switched things up since August 2019, when Hayley Mokros joined Gill as a co-owner of the business.
“We have sort of hit the refresh button on a lot of things,” Gill said. “We are trying to maintain the foundational elements that have made the business so successful over the years, while also giving it a new look and energy.”
Gill has worked at Bridal Boutique for about 19 years. She came into ownership of the business in 2010.
When Mokros became a co-owner, it fulfilled a lifelong dream in the process.
“I always knew I wanted to own a small business,” she said. “That was always the dream. I started with a lemonade stand, and it grew from there.”
Once she joined forces with Gill, the two wasted little time putting their mark on the business, which has served area customers for four decades.
The business’s new name is among the changes. The prior name reflected the first initials of previous owners Ann Kettler and Margy Spensley.
The current co-owners also renovated significant portions of the building.
This included the creation of a new “bridal suite,” complete with antique windows and a chandelier, where brides-to-be can try on wedding dresses. On top of that, they have repainted the entire facility and plan to install new flooring this summer.
Mokros said the interaction with customers is her favorite part of the job.
“We get to work with someone during such an important part of their lives,” she said. “Sometimes, we work with whole families for weddings, and we are building relationships with three or even four generations of a family all at once.”
In addition to its bridal work, the business works with clients seeking the ideal homecoming and prom gowns.
The business is located at 40 E. Main St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays throughout the summer. It can be reached at 608-348-8790.