The Quad-Cities' own homegrown Boetje's Mustard finds itself among elite company landing top honors in the 2017 World Wide Mustard Competition, sponsored by the National Mustard Museum.

After three rounds of competition, Boetje's received Silver in two categories: Coarse Grain and Classic Hot. Boetje's competed with more than 400 entries from 11 countries in the contest held annually by the Middleton, Wisconsin, museum.

"We're real pleased at how well we did this year," said owner Will Kropp, who runs the family business with his wife, Jane, and their son, Harrison Kropp, 26.

"He's America's best," Will Kropp said of his son, Boetje's mustard maker. "We feel very proud. Harrison prides himself at producing award-winning mustard."

The brand was second only to the gold winners: Martin Olsson Foxy Lady of Norway in the coarse grain category, and the German-based Lowensenf Extra in the hot category.

"Eventually, this will be all his," Will Kropp said of Harrison, who has been full-time with the company since 2008. Will Kropp has owned Boetje's since 1983.  

Davenport wins SBA award

The city of Davenport's efforts in helping small businesses has earned it the title of 2017 Iowa SBA Small Business Community of the Year.

The three-year-old award was presented by the Iowa District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Davenport was recognized for its programs and incentives that help attract and retain small businesses as well as its ability to leverage community resources with other federal, state, county and local programs to benefit the small business community.

"From the city's Small Business Loan Program to Mayor (Frank) Klipsch's monthly Foundation of the Community Award that recognizes small businesses, Davenport is a role model for communities across Iowa that understand how critical small business start-ups and expansions are to economic success," said Jayne Armstrong, the Iowa office's district director.

She also cited the city's collaborative economic development environment and the partnership the city economic developers have with other organizations such as the Iowa SBDC at Eastern Iowa Community College, Quad-Cities SCORE Chapter, Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Downtown Davenport Partnership, Greater Quad-Cities Hispanic Chamber, Hilltop Campus Village and others.

Klipsch said that since 2010, Davenport has assisted in the creation of more than 300 jobs at companies employing 1-10 people. "We are proud to collaborate with entrepreneurs, the state and federal governments to create an environment welcoming to small businesses ...," he said.

Ascentra wins Diamond Award

Hats off to Ascentra Credit Union, Bettendorf, which brought home a Diamond Award for the new design of its new Visa card — complete with EMV chip technology — and its unique rewards program.

Ascentra received the award from the Credit Union National Association's Marketing and Business Development Council at the 24th annual conference last month in San Antonio.

"The addition of the microchip added a new layer of protection against fraud for our members and gave us the opportunity to introduce uChoose Rewards, providing a great benefit to our members while saving them money,'' said Dale Owen, Ascentra president and CEO.

Ascentra's new rewards program allows members to combine and redeem rewards points from both Ascentra Visa debit and Visa credit card purchases. In addition, uChoose allows cardholders to link cards from other family members to earn points faster and redeem points for merchandise, receive cash back and even donate to charity.

For more information, visit Ascentra.org/rewards.

Ruhl & Ruhl expands to Galena

Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors has expanded its reach, joining forces with McCoy Real Estate Inc. in Galena, Illinois.

The Quad-City-based Ruhl & Ruhl is opening an office in McCoy Real Estate's former office at 412 S. Main St.

Mike and Shelly McCoy and their agents all have joined Ruhl as brokers. The office will be managed by Jeff Hefel, Ruhl’s Dubuque manager.

"We look forward to working with the talented agents of McCoy Real Estate to enhance their services and tools in Galena and the Territory," said Caroline Ruhl, company president.

Ruhl & Ruhl, with 330 agents, is the largest privately-owned real estate company in Iowa. In addition to 10 Iowa residential sales offices, it now will have two Illinois offices: Moline and Galena. For more information on the Galena office, call 815-777-1304.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com