116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — A staple that offered dumplings “with a Midwest twist” closed Sunday after seven years of success spun out of what started at a farmers market.
Dumpling Darling announced its closure last week after almost five years at 213 Iowa Ave.
Co-owner Lesley Rish started selling dumplings with then-husband Brian Triplett at the Iowa City Farmers Market in 2014. What started as a hobby after teaching English in South Korea soon became a full-time business when catering requests started coming in, according to Little Village.
"I think many of us business owners and otherwise have used this time to reassess our priorities in life," co-owner Veronica Tessler previously told The Gazette. "That goes beyond what we do for work. It has to do with us as individuals, and that was a huge part in the decision to close the restaurant."
Tessler, who came on as a partner six weeks before the pandemic started, also owns Yotopia on Clinton Street and co-owns NOSH Cafe and Eatery in Des Moines with Rish.
Before the restaurant settled into Iowa Avenue, it was located at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids and Pop’s BBQ on North Dubuque Street in Iowa City. The Iowa Avenue location opened in 2017.
In a social media post last week, Rish and Tessler cited product shortages, labor shortages, rising business costs since the pandemic began and the uncertainty of the economy as the primary reasons for the difficult decision to close.
“We know that for a lot of you, Dumpling Darling was your first time ever having dumplings,” the restaurant said on social media in its announcement. “We are humbled to have been able to introduce you to our version of this food that we love so much.”
But the owners did leave future possibilities open, noting they may see customers again someday “in a different format.”
The business can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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