Biz Buzz: Wine shop opening in Dubuque; health care provider opens Darlington clinic; women’s fitness center coming to Peosta

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque; Darlington, Wis.; and Peosta, Iowa.

A new wine shop is gearing up for its Dubuque debut.

EJ’s Wine Shop & Tasting Room will host its grand opening Feb. 29 at 955 Washington St. The tasting room will feature a variety of local, regional and international wines while focusing on customer engagement and education.

The shop held its soft opening earlier this month, said owner EJ Droessler, but it will transition to regular hours next week.

“We’re super excited about introducing this concept to Dubuque,” Droessler said. “We’re very retail driven, so we’re here to help customers make the best choice so they can find something very fun and unique that meets their needs.”

The shop will share space with Wayfarer Coffee, an existing coffee shop and cafe in the Historic Millwork District. Wayfarer will use the space in the mornings, with afternoons and evenings reserved for Droessler’s tasting room.

In addition to its retail space, the wine shop will have a seating area for casual conversation, wine flights and tastings. Some snacks will be available for purchase, as well as a variety of beers, mocktails and more.

“It’s a wine shop, not a bar,” Droessler said. “It’s not a place where the music is so loud you can’t hear yourself think. It’s a place where you can come and bring your favorite book and just relax on the couch.”

Droessler added that his goal with the space is to offer an affordable, accessible place for area residents to enjoy and learn more about wine. He said the shop will offer a variety of wines to allow customers to try something new each visit.

“Our first official wine club pickup date is March 15,” Droessler said. “I’m really pumped to launch that because we’ll have a surprise bottle for all those members to take home and unwrap to kick us off in a really exciting way.”

Starting Feb. 29, the EJ’s Wine Shop & Tasting Room will be open 1 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. More information about the shop is available online at

Southwest Health opens Darlington clinic

Southwest Health’s newest satellite clinic has opened in Darlington, Wis.

The clinic recently opened at 133 Performance Drive and includes a host of services including optometry; OB-GYN care; speech and physical therapy; and ears, nose and throat care. Dental services also are available from Darlington Family Dental.

“It’s nice to have a lot of entities in one place,” said clinic optometrist Jenny Belken. “Having it all in one location means that Darlington residents don’t have to travel so far to get those services.”

Southwest Health previously provided eye care at its center on Darlington’s Main Street. As demand continued to grow, Belken said it became clear the eye center needed more space.

Instead of simply building a larger standalone clinic, however, Southwest Health partnered with Darlington Family Dental to create the new clinic at Performance Drive and expand services.

Gynecologist Mary Beth Wampfler had her first shift at the Darlington clinic last week and already has seen a couple of new clients. Wampfler provides full-spectrum OB-GYN care related to reproductive, prenatal and postpartum health.

“The space is great, so now we’re just working to get the word out,” Wampfler said. “Everything we can do at the (OB-GYN) clinic in Platteville we should be able to do here, as well.”

The Southwest Health Darlington clinic is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Interested patients can contact the clinic at 608-776-4413 or attend an upcoming open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Women’s fitness center coming to Peosta

A women’s fitness center is warming up for its grand opening in Peosta.

Sweat Inspire Sisterhood, located at 7477 Thunder Valley Drive, is set to open March 1 near Darkbird Taphouse and Jumble Coffee. The fitness center will offer a variety of workout classes for women with a focus on strength training and community building.

“I wanted to create something that was by and for women,” said owner Erika Hermsen. “It’s a fitness center, but I hope it can be more than that. I want it to be a place for events, workshops or just to meet new people.”

Hermsen launched Sweat Inspire Sisterhood online in 2016 as a virtual workout community. She said she started the business to create a space for adult women to focus on fitness in a healthy, empowering environment.

The online community grew over the years, Hermsen said, prompting her to work toward opening a brick-and-mortar location. A Farley native, she said it made sense to build that location close to her hometown.

“I always knew I wanted to open something back home,” said Hermsen, who currently lives near Kansas City, Mo. “That’s always been the dream.”

The fitness center will offer classes six days a week, Hermsen said, with the exception of Sunday. There, instructors will lead classes on high intensity interval training, dance classes, hot yoga and more.

Women can sign up as members for unlimited access or purchase class passes to take a certain number of drop-in lessons. In-person members also will have access to Sweat Inspire Sisterhood’s ongoing online offerings.

All classes will focus on improving strength and overall well-being, Hermsen said.

“Our motto has always been ‘strong, not skinny,’” she said. “Growing up in the ’90s and seeing all the photos of super, super skinny girls in magazines, I know that’s easy to internalize. … But we really want to focus on getting strong and staying healthy, not just losing a bunch of weight.”

Sweat Inspire Sisterhood will host an open house for its Peosta location from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, and from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24 and 25. Tours will be available at those times, as well as discounted “founders” membership pricing.

Further updates on the center can be found online at or by following the Sweat Inspire Sisterhood Facebook page.