Buying products made in the tri-states supports the local economy and provides employment for people within the community.
Meet a few of the companies that make their products locally:
Open since 1923, Higley is a chemical manufacturer of household cleaners, hand soap/pumice soap, sanitizers, disinfectants and other home and commercial use products.
While the company has its local line of Higley products, most of what it makes is shipped under different labels.
One of the primary growth-drivers for the company is private and contract filling for major brands going into Walmart, Target and CVS.
“It is important to the company to be local because we love the tri-states, and manufacturing products locally and shipping them out is crucial to sustainability of any community,” said Lance Hummel, president and CEO. “We found our niche filling the unusual items, such as catnip oil and ice melt, which are not as straightforward as a glass cleaner in a spray bottle.”
The mission at Higley Industries is: “We strive to clean up our world through quality products at affordable prices while supporting and partnering with our community. At Higley, we want to be known for our generosity and focus on supporting our community and those in need.”
The company recently moved to a new location and was able to expand their filling and mixing capabilities.
“Currently, we are able to fill containers from ½ ounce to 330 gallon totes,” Hummel said.
The company sells products in spray bottles, gallon jugs, pouches, wall-hanging hand soap dispensers, wipes and other options. The company ships products to 50 states and Canada.
Hummel recommends that tri-state residents shop locally first and buy directly from Higley. The company also welcomes ideas for products or if you are selling a non-food liquid to contact Higley to see how they can help get your product to consumers.
Simmons Pet Food
Simmons, a family owned pet food company based in Siloam Springs, Ark., opened its Dubuque location in July 2021.
The new facility will add production capacity for 5.5-ounce and 22-ounce canned wet foods to 168 million units. A second production line to be added in April 2022 at the Dubuque facility will bring total capacity to approximately 408 million units.
The 70-year-old company and its affiliates are leading suppliers of poultry, pet and animal nutrition products.
“Dubuque is a very strategic site for Simmons Pet Food,” said Doug Aldridge, senior director of operations. “It allows us to be closer to our customers geographically, and therefore, provide better service to our loyal customers. The Dubuque area also has the right talent pool for attracting team members that will make this site extremely successful. I’m a native Iowan and have worked here my entire career, our people are the difference.”
Simmons Pet Food selected Dubuque because of the high-quality workforce, existing infrastructure to support operations and a business-friendly economic development team.
Simmons officials also realized the City of Dubuque possessed a vibrant community spirit ideal for their team members and their families to live, work and play.
Verena Street Coffee
Cousins Eric Gantz and Michael Gantz opened Verena Street Coffee in December 2010. The first bags of coffee hit local store shelves on Jan. 6, 2011.
The coffee is roasted, blended, ground and packaged in Dubuque.
“We offer whole bean, ground and single cup coffee products in various package sizes,” said Eric Gantz. “Our coffee is sold in take-home packages in grocery stores, club stores and online. Our coffee is also brewed and ready to go at many regional employers and foodservice outlets, such as John Deere, Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh and other locations.”
The Gantz cousins have a goal to build the Verena Street brand into a powerful regional brand throughout the Midwest, and Dubuquers will be proud to call the brand their own.
“Our vision is to become the go-to coffee at work, at home and on-the-go for anyone tired of bitter, boring coffee,” Eric Gantz said. “You deserve high-quality, convenient and affordable coffee at home. Our unique blends are always freshly roasted to precise levels. Our light roasts are never too light (sour), and our dark roasts are never too dark (bitter).”
Verena Street Coffee beans are sourced via sustainable methods. The beans are artfully blended from different origins to make a unique recipe for each coffee. This offers a complexity of flavor and aroma that cannot be duplicated in any one bean origin.
Betty Jane Candies
A member of the Dubuque community for more than 80 years, Betty Jane Candies has many chocolaty choices to delight your sweet tooth. The Gremlin is their version of the “Turtle” confection. Made with pecans and homemade caramel covered in Betty Jane’s special blend of milk chocolate, the Gremlin is their signature and most popular piece.
Betty Jane Candies opened in 1938 and has been recognized as Top Culinary Gift in Iowa by People Magazine and as one of the best chocolate shops in America by Taste of Home.
Its candy also has been featured in Academy Awards gift bags, Grammy Awards gift bags and on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
“Iowans have been and continue to be a big part of our success,” said Drew Siegert, president of the company. “Dubuquers supported our store for decades, and Iowa’s own Hy-Vee was the first to give our snack line a chance.”
Betty Jane chocolates and snacks are available in the Dubuque flagship store, which recently relocated to John F. Kennedy Road, via the E-commerce store and more than 200 wholesale partners nationwide. Corporate gifts are also a large part of Betty Jane’s success.
“The JFK Road store opened in February, and it’s a great addition for our customers,” Siegert said. “It will also allow us to increase production capacity at our Asbury Road location. We have a second chocolate line coming in fall 2022 which will more than double our output.”
Berry Global Inc.
Berry is a family-oriented business that produces plastic bottles with different types of plastic resin.
Three processes — extrusion, injection and stretch blow molding — are used in production.
The company also does bottle-labeling for two customers.
Bottles are produced for many industries, including food, pharmaceutical, healthcare, lawn fertilizer and spirits.
The business originally opened in Peosta, Iowa, in August 1986 as Captive Plastics. Through acquisition, the business evolved to Berry Plastics in 2009.
“We have a large employee population that has 20-plus years of service and nine employees that have 30-plus years,” said Vyron Nelson, plant manager.
The company has not experienced a layoff in more than 20 years and always is looking for new people to join the Berry family to grow the business.
Berry Global focuses on sustainability and has a commitment to preventing pellet, flakes and powder loss of plastics in the environment by effectively disposing of these products.
“Our location is centrally located, which is good for business as we have many customers in the Tri-States,” Nelson said. “We appreciate the Midwest work ethic, the family values and support we’ve received from the surrounding communities.”