Springtime, as it always has, rolled into Dubuque in March of 2013. But Hopper’s Greenhouse near the corner of Jackson Street and 28th was in a perpetual state of winter. Then something happened. A seed was planted. This is not out of the ordinary for springtime. But this was no ordinary seed. Born from a vision of community and giving, this seed was planted with passion and new life was breathed into the cold soil. What was once a greenhouse began to sprout again and Convivium was alive. Co-Founders Leslie Shalabi and her husband, Mike Muench, purchased the building and with the help of a regional architect, developed their vision into an experience. Convivium is a coffee shop, a restaurant, an educational symposium, a garden, a workshop, and neighborhood gathering place that opened in 2017. Convivium, in the science of taxonomy, is a term used to define populations of living organisms where differentiation of species are brought together for greater understanding. The term derives from Latin “living-with,” more commonly defined as “feast together.”

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Richard G. Shaluly and Melanie Devaney
Richard G. Shaluly is a Southern boy, but he claims that he hasn't missed a beat when it comes to finding warm hospitality and good down-home cooking right here in the Midwest. He has never backed down from a good-looking cheeseburger, but he has also enjoyed getting to the bottom of mouth-watering dishes in cozy spots from California to the Caribbean. His passion for Middle Eastern cuisine keeps him always willing to follow the sound of the adventurous dinner bell, dive in deep, and try something new. Melanie Devaney lives in Epworth. In her ‘other life’ as a singer-songwriter, she has traveled all over the country, as well as in Europe, discovering many delicious meals along the way. With an emphasis on maintaining an overall healthy diet, Melanie strives to find the perfect balance between tasty and nutritious. As a Dubuque County native, Melanie is delighted to see so many new, high-quality restaurants opening throughout the area.


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