Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we include updates from Dubuque and Maquoketa, Iowa, and Platteville, Wis.

Two large chains — one specializing in cookies and another in smoothies — plan to open locations soon in a busy shopping center in Dubuque.

Work is underway on the future sites of Crumbl Cookies and Smoothie King, each of which will occupy spots within Warren Plaza, 3500 Dodge St.

Crumbl Cookies is going into the former site of Betty Jane Candies, which is part of a strip mall that connects to the Dodge Street Hy-Vee. A building permit issued by the City of Dubuque estimated that the interior buildout for the Crumbl store will cost about $350,000.

The opening of the Dubuque location will underscore the meteoric rise of a dessert company that arrived on the scene only four years ago.

The business was started by two cousins who launched their first store in Utah in 2017. The business has since ballooned, with more than 250 bakeries operating in 36 states.

Crumbl Cookies is known for its distinctive pink packaging, as well as its rotating menu that features new cookies on a regular basis. Messages sent to the owners of the Dubuque franchise were not returned Monday.

Across the parking lot, another tenant is poised to arrive in Warren Plaza.

The City of Dubuque issued a permit for a new Smoothie King in the open space next to Jersey Mike’s Subs, located in a strip mall connected to Target. The permit indicated that interior buildout for the new space will cost $246,000.

The origin of Smoothie King dates back to 1973, and 16 years later, the company became the first smoothie franchise in the U.S. Today, the company has more than 1,300 locations worldwide.

The company emphasizes the use of whole fruits and organic vegetables and does not place artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in its products.

The Dodge Street location for Smoothie King is listed as “blending soon” on the official website, but a precise opening date is not included.

FILLING A VOID

A new Platteville business aims to provide a variety of styling services and fill a void in the local market.

Healthy Handz will opens its doors at 255 McGregor Plaza today, according to owner Latonya Barnett. The business provides hairstyling, dreading, straightening, shampooing and conditioning, weave extensions and more.

Barnett brings two decades of experience to the table and believes her services will be well-received.

“I have been doing hair since I was 15 years old, and I am 35 now” Barnett said. “When I moved to Platteville a few years ago, I realized there was a big need for African-American natural hair styling.”

Shortly after moving to Platteville, Barnett volunteered to style the hair of a few friends’ children and, over time, more requests started coming in. She eventually concluded there was enough unmet demand to launch a new business.

For Barnett, a first-time business owner, this was a more complicated process than she initially expected.

“It’s been very strenuous,” she said. “Just getting things up and running has required a lot of time and a lot of energy.”

She believes all of the hard work soon will pay off, benefiting her customers and the Platteville economy as a whole.

“I think this will bring something to the community that Platteville needs, and it means people won’t have to travel to places like Dubuque or Madison to get these services,” Barnett said.

Healthy Handz is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. It can be reached at 608-642-4717.

FAMILY BAKERY THRIVES

A quarter-century after it first opened, a Maquoketa bakery specializing in homemade treats continues to evolve.

Missy’s and Family recently added new products to its repertoire and introduced a “cupcake trailer” that serves the company’s products around the region.

“Over the years, we have had a very steady business,” said owner Missy Dostal. “When COVID(-19) hit, we knew we had to do something to set ourselves apart and stay busy.”

Family has always been at the core of what the business stands for.

From a young age, Dostal’s son would accompany her on deliveries — and he still helps her deliver products to this day.

Dostal emphasized that her nephew, her husband and her nieces also play integral roles in the business. One day, she hopes her son and his fiancee will take over the business.

While Dostal makes the products at home, they are sold in a variety of locations around the region, including Dirt Road Darlings in Dubuque, Make A Splash in Maquoketa and Moore Local locations in Bellevue and Maquoketa.

In the past couple years, Dostal has diversified with new products. These include cocoa bombs, which she described as chocolate spheres containing cocoa. The business also introduced cookie kits, which contain pre-baked sugar cookies and various items with which the buyer can decorate them.

On top of that, she introduced what she calls a “cupcake trailer,” which allows the business to travel to a variety of tri-state locations and serve customers it otherwise might not have reached.

As the business has grown, Dostal has gone to great lengths to maintain its authentic, homemade essence.

“Everything is made from scratch,” she said. “If we get busy and I mass-produce something, that just means that I had to work 20 hours a day. You have to make hay when the sun shines.”

Missy’s and Family can be reached at 563-340-1327.

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