Category Archives: Off campus

Side Hustle- Sports Podcasting

Having the same conversation over and over can be tiresome, especially when you’re talking in circles.

One of the most common debates in sports is, “Moss is better than Rice,” or vice versa, and it usually gets nowhere.

That’s why in 2014, Garret Greenlee created a Twitter and YouTube channel where he could prove his sports-related thoughts through facts.

“I got sick of having the same conversation with people like, ‘man this guy’s good, or this guy’s good,’” Greenlee said.  “I just created an account and thought whatever happens, happens.”

The accounts grew rapidly.

After four years, Greenlee’s Best NFL Matchups had more than 20,000 followers on Twitter.

Only problem was, he had no idea what email he used when he made the account.

“I was following people way too fast, so Twitter thought I was a spam account,” Greenlee said.  “They sent an email to the account I had with it, but I had no idea what that email was, and I lost the account forever.”

Greenlee had to start all over.

Lucky for him, he had a couple friends with similar accounts, and they gave him a shout out to help build his new channel, Football Analysis.

“I only have 1,500 subscribers on YouTube right now.  Not ‘only,’ like I’m grateful for them, but I want to get to the point where I’m at 30, 40, 50, 100 thousand subscribers and do a giveaway once a month of a signed whatever,” Greenlee said.  “I do appreciate the support, but I want to get to a point where I can use this as a side income just for talking about what I love, which is football.”

Greenlee’s set up.

How does Greenlee make money with these videos?

“You have to have 1,000 subscribers,” Greenlee said.  “But within the past year, you also have to have four thousand watch hours of your content. So that took a little bit to build up.”

Four thousand hours may seem like a lot, but with browse features, you can reach more people than just your subscribers, which happened to Greenlee a few times.

“I have a couple with 30 thousand, 20 thousand views and that really gets a lot of the hours at almost the snap of your fingers,” Greenlee said.  “So, in reality you could have one video that has 60 or 100 thousand views, and you get your four thousand hours, then the rest of your videos combined could have only 500 views.”

Since the interview, Greenlee has reached the 2,000-subscriber mark with his new account.

The content is starting to pay off.

He explains this in the video.

Andy Carlson, a Winona State graduate and creator of the Purple FTW! podcast, said a Vikings vs Ravens blizzard game in 2013 sparked his interest in talking sports.

Carlson looks at all the players on the Vikings roster and analyzes the national media coverage of the Vikings, while adding his own twist of humor for his 23,000 subscribers.

“There will always be a market for fan content,” Carlson said.  “People want niched down perspective over national media jabronis.”

Here is a clip from a recent video.

With this being his side job, Carlson said he always finds the motivation to release numerous videos a day.

“The viewers who continue to make us part of their day (motivates me),” Carlson said.  “If we can be a nice little five minute break from life and give some info and some entertainment. Worth it.”

Carlson offers monthly memberships for $4.99 and $24.99 on his YouTube channel that offers extra benefits such as one-on-one chats and free merchandise.

Teespring has teamed up with Carlson and Purple FTW! to sell this merchandise that includes t-shirts, mugs and stickers.

Purple FTW! merchandise for sale on Teespring.

“It’s a very decent side hustle,” Carlson said.  “Merch is fun, and everything helps keep the production lights on.”

With the quarantine giving people more free time than ever, podcasts and YouTube may be a good pass time to listen to, or maybe even try.

Football Analysis Link

Purple FTW! Link

Books and coloring in brewery

The Winona Public Library brought children books to Island City Brewery for the monthly Tales on Tap event.  

On Wednesday, April 3 the Public Library hosted Tales on Tap at Island City Brewery.  

Tales on Tap occurs on the first Wednesday of every month. The library started the event in January.  

Samantha TerBeest, Winona Public Library librarian begins Tales on Tap by mentioning upcoming events and introducing volunteer reader, Leslie Albers. Terbeest also told the room of brewery patrons to enjoy the coloring sheets and a meat and cheese tray.

According to Douglas Irwin, CEO of Island City Brewing Company the library hosts the event for no cost.  

Samantha TerBeest, librarian, said the event is a fun and relaxing time for those who attend.  

“The purpose is to provide adults with, one relaxation, and second, bring them back to childhood,” said TerBeest.  

Leslie Albers, volunteer reader, read three children’s book that went along with the theme of coloring.  

The books were The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Red: A Crayon’s Story. 

Along with the readings, the library provided coloring pages, coloring utensils and a plate of meat and cheese.  

There was also a chance to win an adult coloring book and coloring utensils.  

Albers has been reading since she was a child. In college, she and her roommates would read English detective books aloud to each other.  

This was Leslie Albers’s first time reading at a Tales on Tab event. The event however started in January 2019. The event occurs on the first Wednesday of every month. There is also a different theme each month.

Now she reads to her grand children 

“I have been gifted with the gift to gab,” said Albers.  

Because of that gift, Albers said she loves to be in front of a microphone. Especially, if she is reading something.  

She saw a poster in the library asking for volunteers to read.  

Albers said she did not even think before she volunteered to read at the event.  

There is not always an audience at Tales on Tab.  

On Wednesday there were three tables full of people. After the first book was read there were only a few people sitting at the bar. None of these people took the coloring sheets or participated in the drawing for a coloring book.  

TerBeest said some people find themselves at the brewery the same day the event is happening, and others mean to be there. 

“I was telling (Albers), people are not going to listen to you,” TerBeest said. “They are going to do their own thing. Like these guys over there and the guy behind us, they will listen sometimes.”  

Irwin said his staff has said the event is not very big.  

From what my staff is telling me, it seems like there wasn’t a big turn out for that event,” Irwin said.  

TerBeest said in February the library had a pajama contest at the Tales on Tab event that she believed to have a good turnout. The prize was a $10 Target gift card.  

As of now, the library is not planning on doing the Tales for Tab event over the summer months, according to TerBeest.  

TerBeest said those who play Book Bingo want to have Wednesday nights back for that event.  

TerBeest said the library may bring Tales on Tab back in the fall.  

Caribou Coffee caffeinates Winona

by Michaela Gaffke

A college student grips their backpack tightly as they approach the doors of the local Caribou Coffee. Meanwhile, a man makes a morning stop at the drive thru on his way to work. A mom in yoga pants holds her kid’s hand as they walk through the door. At Caribou, there’s something for everyone, from the hurried student to the kid who isn’t quite kindergarten age.

“Hello, welcome to Caribou Coffee, are you a perks member today?” a team member wearing a brown Caribou apron greets customers as they come inside.

Koch points out menu items to a customer.


Someone who is in a rush to get their morning caffeine fix may not think about the behind-the-scenes aspect of their coffee stop, and it begins early. The general store manager, Deanna Kaiser, arrives at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. Another employee comes in to help her, and together they make the morning espresso and open the register.

Kaiser’s black and neon, handwritten nametag stands out from her brown apron that reads “Caribou Coffee.” Her blonde hair is pulled up into a half pony tail under her drive thru headset, and she is wearing jeans and slip resistant shoes.

Getting up in the morning can be difficult, but you get used to it, one of the team members, Lo Koch, said. She wears a matching apron, nametag, drive thru headset and jeans.

“I’ll go to bed within 7 to 10 p.m. every night,” Kaiser said.

The team members have some time to wake themselves up before the store gets busier.

5:30 a.m. is usually a pretty quiet time, according to Kaiser, the store starts to get busy at 6 a.m. Caribou will have some of its regulars stop in weekday mornings before work.

We have at least 20-25 regulars, maybe more, Kaiser said.

On a snowy Wednesday morning, it is quiet, with a few customers sitting with laptops at tables, sipping their drinks; as the drive thru is more popular. The usual busy time is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Kaiser said.

On the weekends, Caribou is usually bustling. The drive thru can wrap around the building, and the in-house line can be almost to the door. There are usually three or four employees working at a time on busy days. There are four positions the team members can be assigned to; barista, drive thru, greeter, and floater. Normally there are two people working, one person is the barista, whose job is to make drinks, and the other is doing drive thru and the in-house guests. There can be two greeters and two baristas, but normally there are one of each. The floater is the superglue person, helping out when needed, Kaiser said.

“10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is our busiest time on Sunday. It is a busy day for students, a lot come for an hour, do their homework and leave. Also Friday there are a lot of students, since the [Winona State] library closes at 5 p.m.,” Koch said.

There’s room for about 50 people in-house, Kaiser said, there are about 42 chairs. Customers have a choice in seating, from comfy upholstered seating by the front windows around a fireplace, or the six seats at a bar area, or standard tables on the other side of the fireplace.

Left to right: Kaiser heats up food in the oven while Koch serves a drive thru customer.

In between creating coffees, teas, and smoothies, the team members keep up with stocking the floor and cleaning.

“It can be hard to restock when it’s busy,” Koch said. “Crap, got to run to the back to get chocolate!”

There are three screens that list the current orders, and once the order has been completed, the person who made it taps the touch screen and it disappears. One of the screens is by the drive thru window, one by the cold drink station and the other by the hot drink station.

Kaiser spreads caramel on the Zebra Mocha Cooler with a smile, in her opinion, it is the hardest drink to make.

A problem the team can face is two team members making the same drink on accident, so communicating on who is making what is essential. Double made drinks get tossed out, according to Kaiser.

The supply to make their drinks and the food they serve comes twice a week, Monday and Thursday. Anyone can unpack the shipment, but the team tries to stick to management doing the job. The unpacker must check to make sure everything was received, so the store doesn’t get charged for an item they didn’t receive.

“There’s a warehouse order for cups, syrups, smoothie mix, tea drinks and similar items. There is a dairy order, a gourmet order for sandwich and bakery, and ready to eat bakery case foods, and we get to order how much we think we need,” Kaiser said.

The most common product they run out of are syrups and beans. If this happens, one of the employees has to head to La Crosse or Rochester to another Caribou location to pick up more product.

“We can’t order too much product, because we don’t want it to expire,” Kaiser said.

The backroom at Caribou, where extra stock is stored.

Caribou’s Winona building is fairly new. It opened in January of 2015, the team has the luxury of many storage places. The backroom is filled to the ceiling with stock. Freezers house frozen sandwiches, while the next day’s sandwiches are thawing in the fridge next to it. Silver bags of espresso are stacked to the left, with a tub of chocolate covered espresso beans, juice, cups, toppings and more to the left of the espresso bags.

“We go through at least 14 bags of espresso a week,” Kaiser said, “we are one of the leading stores for espresso sales.”

Each bag is five pounds, and one pound serves 10 small cups, roughly 50 people if everyone orders smalls, according to Kaiser.

After a full day of caffeinating the citizens of Winona, Caribou Coffee closes for the night. On Monday through Thursday, the store closes at 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday is 10 p.m., and 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The closers stock everything, put loose things away, sweep the floors, mop, vacuum, and close the register. They will stay 30-45 minutes after close to do so, Kaiser said, then they lock up and leave.

At the end of the day, Koch and Kaiser they enjoy their jobs.

“I’m a coffee snob,” she laughed. “My favorite part is making drinks. It’s like working at a bar, but coffee.”