New business in downtown Dubuque establishes roots

Laura Klavitter sorts through inventory at Planted. on Wednesday in Dubuque. PHOTO CREDIT: NICKI KOHL

With the opening of her new business in downtown Dubuque, Laura Klavitter aims to do more than just provide a new product.

She also wants to create a new experience.

“My vision is to create a space where people can not only come and get a plant but also get real advice and the right information about taking care of it and keeping it healthy,” she said.

Planted. — the name does include a period — will open its doors at 245 W. First St. on Saturday, Nov. 28. The business will specialize in offering tropical plants hailing from warm-weather areas like Florida and California, Klavitter said.

Such a selection will bring something new to the tri-states.

“These plants are more unusual and exotic,” she said. “They come in shapes and sizes and colors you cannot have year-round here, and I think people will enjoy that. It allows you to have something green even when everything outside is gray.”

Klavitter earned a horticulture degree from Iowa State University in 2011. In the years since, she has traveled abroad to enhance her knowledge and also made an impact locally.

Klavitter launched MicroGirl about five years ago. The business creates microgreens — small vegetable greens harvested in early development stages – and sells them to local customers.

Much like that business, Planted. will aim to provide something that doesn’t already exist in the area.

“With each business, I’ve tried to find a gap in the market and fill that void,” Klavitter said.

Klavitter will occupy a pair of adjoining retail spaces at 245 W. First. One will include retail space and a “potting bar,” where people can create their own custom soil; the other will have space for MicroGirl, as well as event and workshop space.

Some space in the business also will be set aside for artists, who can display their pots, greeting cards, fine art, jewelry, macrame and other ceramics.

Klavitter said she is excited to become part of a vibrant downtown area, which features a brewery and a diverse selection of bars and restaurants. Her neighbors share that sense of excitement.

Kim Hackett is co-owner of Wicked Dame, a wine bar located across the street from Planted.

“I think that having a retail space down here will really tie Main Street and Bluff Street together,” said Hackett. “The people who are shopping in the Bluff Street area will have another reason to come to this part of the downtown.”

While the name of Klavitter’s business is an obvious nod to the plants themselves, she emphasized that the moniker also represents something else.

Klavitter noted that many people refer to themselves as Dubuque transplants or replants, referencing the fact that they came to Dubuque from another city or recently returned here after living elsewhere.

Klavitter moved to Dubuque in 2015. As the city has evolved into feeling more like home, the name Planted. conveyed the sense of belonging she feels.

“It speaks to the concept of being planted in Dubuque,” she said. “I really do feel planted here, and I feel like it is a special place. I wanted my name to be representative of that, too.”