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Business

Mark’s Auto Body celebrates 25 years in Solon

Mark Divoky and his auto body shop have been staples since 1989

SOLON- Twenty-five years ago, it would have taken Mark Divoky over an hour just to do a simple estimate on a car brought into the shop. Everything had to be done by hand, from figuring out prices to looking up the parts needed.
Now, with the evolution of technology, that process takes just 15 minutes.
“When I first started, we didn’t have computers,” Divoky said. “ But now, everything’s in there– our estimating software, our parts list, everything. If we’re working on something and we have a question about how to tear it apart, you can get on the Internet and you’ll have an answer.”

Taste of right here at home

New restaurant to reintroduce North Liberty residents to Italian favorites

NORTH LIBERTY- For Gregg Mirabito, family and food go hand-in-hand.
During the holidays, the Mirabito clan often gathers together for what he called “an Italian Christmas,” where the kitchen is filled traditional Italian favorites, like spaghetti and savory meatballs or daughter Lindsey’s, favorite; shrimp scampi with linguine.
“I tried to change it one year to something like prime rib,” Greg recalled. “It was not well-received.”
Now, Gregg has brought that home cooked goodness to North Liberty with his new restaurant, “Mirabito’s,” located at 40 Sugar Creek Lane.

Bride Meets Wedding online

Solon wedding specialist offers planning tools and inspiration for local brides

SOLON– Aubrey Secrest’s fondness for weddings began at a very young age.
She spent her childhood in her mother’s floral shop and, in high school, began helping her make arrangements and bouquets for brides-to-be. Her brother also owned his own disc jockeying company that often performed at receptions in the area.
“I’ve always been around weddings and loved them,” Secrest said.

Dinner and a movie, delivered to your door

NL businesses Marco’s Pizza and Family Video team up to package at-home entertainment

NORTH LIBERTY– Who doesn’t love spending a Friday evening curled up on the couch with a hot slice of pizza and favorite movie?
Marco’s Pizza and Family Video are willing to bet that answer is no one.
The pizza place and video rental store have teamed up to offer North Liberty residents a convenient way to get their movie rentals and dinner all at once.
Customers can order their food either on the phone or online, and select a movie to be delivered along with their meal. They can also pick up their pizza and video themselves.

Bride Meets Wedding offers online planning

SOLON– Aubrey Secrest’s fondness for weddings began at a very young age.
She spent her childhood in her mother’s floral shop and, in high school, began helping her make arrangements and bouquets for brides-to-be. Her brother also owned his own disc jockeying company that often performed at receptions in the area.
“I’ve always been around weddings and loved them,” Secrest said.

Debra Dolores Designs dreams big

Debra Sutherland creates unique fashion designs based on her own artwork

SOLON– When you first meet designer and artist Debra Sutherland, she simply oozes optimism.
She will excitedly show you her latest fabric designs, gush about her newest garment creations, and wax poetic about where her inspiration comes from. When you ask her about what she’s going to do next, the answer is clear.
Everything.
And the thing is, you will instantly believe her.
She exudes confidence as she talks about her prints becoming everything from dresses, to wall hangings, to dinnerware.

Good Time Charlie’s

Fresh food, fresh look, good times

Good Time Charlie’s in Shueyville boasts an impressive menu, welcoming atmosphere

SHUEYVILLE– Everyone has a Good Time Charlie in his or her life.
He’s the guy who’s always up for anything. The friend who convinces you to stay for just one more round at the bar. The guy whose life experiences are significantly more colorful and carefree than the rest of us working stiffs.
For the owners of Good Time Charlie’s in Shueyville, it was the perfect name for their newest bar and restaurant.

SonShine Dry Cleaners delivers more than quality dry cleaning

Let the SonShine in

NORTH LIBERTY– For Phoebe Roberson, dry cleaning is about more than just caring for the clothes; it’s also about creating comfortable relationships.
She recalled a recent SonShine Dry Cleaners customer who struck up a conversation while dropping off a few items. Among other things, he mentioned that it was his wife’s birthday. When he returned for his order, Roberson remembered the familiar face and asked him how the birthday went.

Real Deals on Home Décor

Home décor store opens in North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY– North Liberty business owner Peg Carr wants everyone to be allured by their home, wherever they live.
In mid-September, Carr opened Real Deals on Home Décor in North Liberty, at 225 Beaver Kreek Centre (near the Brown Bottle restaurant). Carr had been working in the Iowa City Real Deals on Home Décor location for about two years when the franchise came up for sale this spring.
“I didn’t have that on my radar at all,” said the Solon resident. “But after my husband and I thought about it more, it made sense.”

Becky's Mindful Kitchen

Better eating, one food group at a time

JOHNSON COUNTY– Becky Schmooke gives new meaning to the term “food for thought.”
In fact, the proprietor of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen Cookery School loves to teach everyone new ways to think about their food.
Schmooke is a personal food consultant with the mission of raising awareness about the foods we consume, where they come from, how they are processed, and how they affect our overall well-being.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 24, Schmooke said she had always eaten well and exercised, but the auto-immune disorder in her body took her by surprise.

The Popcorn Shoppe

Gourmet popcorn shop has endless options, tasty treats

NORTH LIBERTY– Seventeen pounds.
That’s the weight of a sperm whale’s brain. It’s the weight of an average road bicycle. It’s a Shih Tzu with an eating problem.
It’s also the weight of an extra-large bag of caramel popcorn from North Liberty’s Popcorn Shoppe.
“With all of the toppings we can add, they can get pretty heavy,” Leo Young, owner of the Popcorn Shoppe, said with a chuckle.
But that hasn’t stopped Eastern Iowans from lugging the delicious treat from the store to their homes each day.

New owners bring love of the game to the Lake MacBride Golf Club

Couple takes a shot at the golf industry

SOLON- Rich Currie recounts the best round of golf he’d ever played.
Almost.
After going out for a friendly game with a friend, Rich decided to call it quits at the 16th hole. The game had become too drawn out, too time consuming for him to continue; so with two holes left, the two threw in the towel. Afterward, Rich’s friend tallied up their scores, then looked at him in astonishment.
“He said ‘Dude, if you had finished, you probably would have broke 80!’” Rich said. “I could not believe it. I couldn’t believe I didn’t stay.”