Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Cascade and Dubuque, Iowa.
Just days after opening the business, the owners of a new Cascade hardware store already are feeling at home.
Gasser Hardware opened on Wednesday at 128 Industry Park Road. The store is the seventh location in the family-owned chain of hardware stores.
Co-owner Dan Schmidt believes the community of about 2,300 will be a perfect fit for Gasser Hardware.
“We don’t really do big cities,” he said. “We are small-town people. We like those small communities.”
Gasser Hardware sells plumbing and electrical supplies, paint, power tools, hardware, fencing and farm supplies. It was founded in 1923 and has locations in Boscobel, Brodhead, Hazel Green and Lancaster, Wis.; Galena, Ill.; and Maquoketa, Iowa.
Schmidt co-owns the Cascade store with his brother Rob and his father, Bob.
He said the family long has had its eye on Cascade.
“We were looking to expand, and Cascade made sense because of the farm market,” he said. “There are a lot of farmers around here, and that is our niche.”
Gasser Hardware occupies the former home of Cascade Chevrolet. Schmidt said the facility had to be remodeled prior to opening, primarily by removing offices and “opening up” the building.
Gasser Hardware has hired a dozen workers, Schmidt said.
The business is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It can be reached at 563-852-7725.
A longtime Dubuque consignment shop with a benevolent mission soon will bid farewell to its loyal customers.
Second Chances, 2600 Dodge St., will close in March, according to manager Holly Cox. A specific closure date has not been determined.
The store sells home decor, furniture, art and a variety of other items. The merchandise is either donated to the store or sold on a consignment basis, and all proceeds are given to Holy Family Catholic Schools.
During its 14 years of operation, Second Chances has raised $500,000 for Holy Family Catholic Schools.
The shop opened in 2005. Over the years, many have developed a close connection to the operation.
“Some people are very saddened to hear it is closing,” Cox said. “There were some people who shed some tears when they found out.”
Cox said multiple business factors compelled leaders to close the store, specifically noting the growing number of consignment stores in the market.
Cox noted that many people shopped at Second Chances because they supported the store’s mission and wanted to provide funds for Holy Family. Others were drawn to the store by the promise of finding unique items, she added.
Cox said she is the lone paid employee at the business. Operations are supported by more than a dozen volunteers.
“We have amazing volunteers, and many of them have been working here for a long time,” she said.
Second Chances will maintain its regular hours until closing. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed Sundays.
The business can be reached at 563-583-5474.
A new fitness center in Dubuque will provide customers with another way to get in shape.
Orangetheory Fitness will open this spring at 2515 Northwest Arterial, according to the location’s marketing manager, Kelly Voges.
She noted that the interior of the location is being built out. While an opening date has not been established, officials are aiming for late March.
Voges expects the studio will be a big hit in the tri-state area.
“I think people are really going to enjoy it,” she said. “There really is nothing like this in Dubuque.”
Orangetheory is a fitness franchise with more than 1,000 locations worldwide. It was founded in Florida nine years ago.
The studio specializes in one-hour, full-body workouts that are led by personal trainers. Customers wear heart-rate monitors that allow them to track progress in real time.
Customers quickly have gravitated to the high-intensity interval training offered at Orangetheory locations, according to Voges.
“The brand is growing like crazy, and locations are popping up everywhere,” she said.
Voges said customers are encouraged to obtain memberships but also are allowed to pay on a per-class basis.
The studio will employ about 20 people, Voges estimated.
She said customers can inquire about memberships by calling 563-557-6886.