Owner of: The Calico Bean Market,
352 Bluff St.
Years owned: 13.
What your shop offers: Bulk food, homemade nut butters, coffee, spices, candy, baking supplies, snacks and treats.
Family: Husband, Jim; and son, Nile, 11.
What inspired you to open your business? I frequently shopped at an Amish bulk food store in Hazelton, Iowa, and always would see a lot of people from Dubuque. Realizing that people from Dubuque would drive an hour-and-a-half for bulk foods, I knew I found a niche. I believe bulk food is fresh and reasonable, and in Dubuque, we are so limited with food outlets that I thought it was the perfect fit. I had a friend who had a bulk food store and restaurant in Bellevue, Iowa. She was my inspiration to open one in downtown Dubuque.
What do you believe is the most unique aspect of your shop? We are a small, family owned business that believes customer service and quality products come first. We offer unique, hard-to-find food items at bulk pricing, as well as many local products.
What will your shop be offering for the holiday season? We can create unique gift bags and baskets in any price range, great for personal gift giving or corporate gifts. We also have the largest selection of sprinkles and baking supplies in the area.
What do you enjoy about the location of your shop and the camaraderie of women who also own businesses in Cable Car Square? I have been a part of a small business in Cable Car Square for more than 28 years and love the men and women business owners in this area. They all strive to maintain the small, specialty shopping atmosphere and beautiful old buildings unique to this historic tourist area.
What is your favorite holiday tradition? Spending time with family is most important during the holidays, and with that comes delicious food. I love preparing, sharing and enjoying meals with family and friends, as well as teaching my son how to make all the family favorites we have enjoyed throughout the years. Having my shop allows me to help others create their special holiday meals and baked goods, as well as my customers teaching me about their holiday traditions.