Longtime Dubuque business changes hands, moving to new location

A longtime Dubuque business has changed hands, and the new owner is readying to move to a new location.

Hendricks Feed & Seed Co., which currently occupies both 880 and 898 Central Ave., officially came under the ownership of Rodney Schroeder last week. He plans to move the store to 2040 Kerper Blvd. in March.

The previous owner, Bill Hendricks, will work at the business until the end of the year and then retire. He is a third-generation employee of the business.

“It’s been awesome working with Bill,” Schroeder said. “He’s been a very good boss, and I’m hoping to do just as good of a job as him. We’ve had a lot of good clientele, and I hope they continue to buy from us and let us provide them with good service.”

Hendricks Feed & Seed has been operating in Dubuque since 1929 and has been at the Central Avenue location since 1942.

Dubuque City Council members in June 2021 approved the city’s purchase of 880 and 898 Central Ave. to build a parking ramp at the site, though city officials plan to keep the existing historic buildings there. The city committed to build the ramp as part of an agreement with Roshek Property LLC, Cottingham & Butler and HTLF when the companies purchased the Roshek Building.

Hendricks said the move was an “independent deal” with the city, and he initially was not looking to move the business. However, he was looking to retire sooner rather than later.

“I started working here when I was 14,” he said. “It would be 50 years in January, when I’ll be 64.”

Dubuque City Council members have amended the development agreement multiple times to push back the parking ramp’s required completion date. City Project Manager Steve Sampson Brown said the timeline for completion of an approximately 525-spot ramp has been extended to Dec. 31, 2024.

“If that date doesn’t change, towards the end of this calendar year we will start to issue requests for proposals for design professionals to start designing it in the new year,” he said.

The ramp currently is estimated to cost $20 million, though he said a more precise figure will be available following the design process.

Schroeder said discussions with Hendricks about taking over as owner began around the time discussions began with the city about the parking ramp. He then sought space for a new location.

The future location at 2040 Kerper Blvd. has been vacant for a couple years, he said, but at one point it housed FDL Foods.

“It fit the bill as far as having an area with retail and warehouse space connected,” Schroeder said. “We needed a certain amount of space, and we wanted to stay downtown if possible.”

Schroeder said the move would occur in mid- to late-March, and he does not expect Hendricks Feed & Seed to be closed for a significant amount of time during the move.

Hendricks said Schroeder is a good fit as a new owner because he has been with Hendricks Feed & Seed since 1984.

“He’s been here so long,” he said. “He knows the ins and outs of the business.”