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Business

Buona sera, Solon

New restaurant brings Italy to Main Street

SOLON– There are many things to love about Italy: its wine, its warm people, its masterful historic artists, bold history and ancient architecture.
Its food.
The Red Vespa Italian Restaurant now brings some of those fine Italian qualities to the heart of downtown Solon.
Aziz and Angie Longou are the couple behind the venture, the long-anticipated eatery that opened Aug. 25. Aziz has many years of experience as a chef and restaurateur in the Corridor area.
“I started cooking in 1978, and I think I did a good job,” said Aziz.

A farm for beer lovers

Buck Creek Hops to sell hops to breweries all over the Midwest

SOLON– The landscape of Solon is changing. With new bars and restaurants popping up in Solon’s downtown area, including Big Grove Brewery, Salt Fork Kitchen, Eastwood’s and Red Vespa, more people are being drawn to visit. One new business, Buck Creek Hops, aims to help maintain Solon’s growth as a culinary and craft beer destination.

Stone walled

...floors and counters, too, at L&C Marble Granite Supply

NORTH LIBERTY– Cody Chen is used to serving up hot, delicious Chinese take-out cuisine.
Now, he and a family member can also create a beautiful kitchen counter on which to serve it.
Cody, owner of Yang Chow Wok, and his cousin, Lam Chen, have established a second business in the North Liberty area, L&C Marble Granite Supply.
Lam learned the trade of cutting and installing beautiful stone– primarily marble and granite– in Hong Kong, where Lam’s family has a long-established business in the industry.

Corridor Home Services

affordable for everyone

SOLON– “It’s a blessing to be of service to other people.”
That’s how Tom Dunn reflects on the business he recently started in the Corridor.

The barber is back!

Connie Semotan returns to Shueyville after 10 years

SHUEYVILLE– When Connie Semotan reopened her Shueyville barber shop in March, a lot of her clients were walk-ins, and many would tell her stories about a great gal that used to cut hair at that very same location years ago.
When she heard these stories, Semotan would smile and laugh as her customers would slowly realize that that same great gal was standing right in front of them.
“I get all kinds of people who just come in and ask, ‘are you my Connie?’” Semotan said. “The response has just been so fun.”

Slicing things up in downtown Solon

Eastwood’s Sports Bar moves to Main Street; D&D Pizza finds a home inside Sam’s Main Street Market

SOLON– Two Solon staples are making a switch.
Several months ago, D&D Pizza and Cafe owner Sam Lensing made the decision to move his restaurant across the street into his grocery store, Sam’s Main Street Market.
The only unanswered question was what to do with the empty building.
That’s where Leo Eastwood, of Eastwood’s Sports Bar, came in.
Eastwood learned earlier in the year that he was being evicted from his previous location on Haganman Lane due to the building being sold, leaving him with a big problem and little time to find a solution.

Get ready for a new Leash on Life

Pet supply store adds to North Liberty’s shopping choices

NORTH LIBERTY– It’s appropriate that Julie Phye’s shop is called Leash on Life.
The Iowa City business owner’s life took a whole new direction after she adopted Rosie the Labrador retriever from a shelter in 2002. Adding Rosie to her family ultimately led Phye to leave her job at the University of Iowa to open her own pet supply business.
Because of Rosie, Leash on Life is not just about selling pet products.

Vintage Soul

Fashion, furnishings to feed the soul

NORTH LIBERTY– Looking for something that speaks to your soul?
Old or new, you could find the perfect thing at the new Vintage Soul boutique in North Liberty.
Co-owners and mother-daughter duo Yolanda Halferty and Dakota Zirbel opened the new shop this week in Liberty Plaza off Highway 965, offering a colorful medley of women’s clothing and home décor items, jewelry and tchotchkes that will blend well with any taste.
The clothing and some items are new, others are vintage, but all have been carefully selected by the two women because of their unique qualities and special appeal.

A gift for everyone

St. John Lutheran Church in Ely has more room to welcome all

ELY– St. John Lutheran Church in Ely has a lot to celebrate this spring.
The church recently completed a building project that brought a new sanctuary, office space, Sunday school rooms and updates to the existing fellowship hall. A dedication of the new space will be held on Sunday, April 26, and everyone is welcome.
St. John pastor Erika Uthe said the expansion was the result of an extensive self-study conducted by the entire congregation, which began in 2011.

Playing on a strong team

Whitmore opens NL office as Edward Jones investment advisor

NORTH LIBERTY– Travis Whitmore feels he has learned a lot about life through playing sports and growing up in America’s heartland: a strong work ethic, perseverance, teamwork and respect for others.
Today, he is applying those life lessons to teach others about financial management.
Whitmore recently opened a new office as an Edward Jones financial advisor. Located at 550 Pond View Dr., Ste. C., Whitmore is ready to meet customers at their convenience.

Solon Trustworthy Hardware celebrates 40 years of business

SOLON– Walking into his parents’ hardware store, Tom Trump wasn’t quite prepared for the display of pink step stools, toolboxes and tools that greeted him in the front window. It seemed out of place for a store that sold lawn mower parts, plumbing supplies and other home improvement tools.
Immediately, he knew this was his mother, Carolyn’s, doing.
“What are you going to do with that?” he recalled asking her.

A piece of the country

Heather Snipes turns her love of art into a successful side business

SOLON– One of Heather Snipes’s favorite things to do is to get on her Harley Davidson motorcycle and just drive.
Her trips often lead her down quiet country roads, where she takes in the scenic farmlands and landscapes. It was during one of these rides when she first became entranced by the beauty and intricacy of the quilt paintings hanging on area barns.
“When you see those old barns out there with those beautiful designs on the sides of them, I thought, ‘you know, I could do that,’” Snipes said.