Garrett Denney

Writer, Marketer, Skiing Extraordinaire

V1 Best of the Chippewa Valley 2K16


Each year Volume One puts out a mammoth “Best Of” section that give honors to the top three local businesses/people/things in a huge variety of categories.

This year, I bit off a big chunk and had a blast doing it. Browse my blurbs below, or head to to peruse the entire list!

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A photo by Paul Itkin.

Already read a few chapters? Jump ahead:

Dottie’s Diner is the kind of place you expect to see in a quaint 1950s film. Nestled alongside the paper mill parking lot off Main Street in White Pine, MN, the polished chrome exterior and rotating neon signpost are calling cards to weary travelers hopping off the interstate in search of a quick and tasty meal. “Breakfast all day!” exclaims the sign in bold black lettering.

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Infinity & Beyond: Infinity Beverages Expands

The following is a story I wrote for Volume One about the expansion of a local wine and spirits maker. Enjoy!

Small batch wine and spirits have a big new home as one local company cuts the ribbon on a new production facility and tasting room.

Infinity Beverages recently moved its growing operation to a new home on Mall Drive in Eau Claire, a space that previously housed the Coffee Grounds.

“We had some pretty humble beginnings,” says founder, winemaker, and distiller Matthew Rick, “so to have the growth we’ve had is just fantastic.”

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Explain it to Me: Pokemon Go

Below is a page clipped from the July/August 2016 edition of WINDOW, a 16-page corporate newsletter I write, design, and publish six times a year. The project features a mix of corporate content, industry updates, and general tech news. Enjoy!


The Cat’s Meow: Humane Society Expansion

The following is a piece I did on a local Humane Society expansion for indie magazine Volume One. Enjoy!

A local humane association is the cat’s meow as they put the finishing touches on a big construction project.

The Dunn County Humane Society recently completed a yearlong expansion of its facilities. Aimed at reducing over crowding of the society’s cat population, the increased footprint more than doubles existing facilities for housing and caring for felines the shelter takes in.

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Start Playing Around: Clearwater Con II

The following is a short write up I did on a local board game convention for indie magazine Volume One. Enjoy!

Break out your D20 and grab some friends,  because a local tabletop game convention returns for its sophomore outing this July.

Two years ago, No Brand Con, a longstanding local anime convention, picked up its life tokens and took its talents to Wisconsin Dells. In its wake, demand built for a new gaming convention to take its place. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of No Brand’s exodus arose Clearwater Con, a board gaming convention and expo.

The aptly titled “Clearwater Con II – Wrath of the Con” (I see what you did there) runs July 16-17 at Eau Claire’s Plaza Hotel & Suites. A weekend pass is a mere $30 and grants the holder access to two days of gaming, vendors, live panels, and a board game library.

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Star Wars 404

“Star Wars: A New Hope” Contained in 404 Page

404 pages have long been the playground of creatives. From fun pixel art to smarmy messages, the humble 404 is a fun – and often hidden – showcase for something fun.

It should come as no surprise then when the internet unearths a graphic artist that built a 404 page containing Star Wars: A New Hope IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Check it out at


While you’re at it, don’t miss this week’s edition of the exceptional Star Wars Show, straight from the halls of Lucasfilm.


The Sound of Star Wars Ep. VII

Few movies are more easily identified by their sound alone than Star Wars. From shrieking TIE Fighters to the menacing buzz of a lightsaber, the Star Wars universe has been home to some of the greatest sound design of all time.

Sound design is a often under appreciated art. When done well, it is a glue that can hold the whole film together. Ideally, it’s a discipline you never think of while in the theater, and that’s exactly what makes it so easy to pass over.

Treat yourself to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens highlight reel below from Zachery Ramos-Taylor; You’ll be glad you did.


Read the original article on Gizmodo.

Explain it to Me: Facebook Safety Check

Below is a page clipped from the May/June 2016 edition of WINDOW, a 16-page corporate newsletter I write, design, and publish six times a year. The project features a mix of corporate content, industry updates, and general tech news. Enjoy!


Beautiful Data: Facebook’s “Free Basics” Goes Live

Below is a page clipped from the May/June 2016 edition of WINDOW, a 16-page corporate newsletter I write, design, and publish six times a year. The project features a mix of corporate content, industry updates, and general tech news. Enjoy!

Social network giant, Facebook, has launched its Free Basics service in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country—and its biggest market on the continent. The platform, which allows users to access listed websites at no cost, was launched in partnership with Airtel, the country’s third largest telecom operator with almost 34 million subscribers.


Free Basics is part of Facebook’s initiative which aims to provide internet access to the two-thirds of the world without it, and the company says the project has helped bring 25 million people online globally. In Nigeria, where it has 16 million users, the high price of data remains an impediment to internet access despite growing smart phone penetration.

The controversial free service has been criticized for its “walled garden” version of the internet, meaning users could only access select websites on the service. But Facebook responded by opening up the platform to a wider range of sites which met “technical speci cations.” While it has drawn the ire of net neutrality advocates globally, it has also faced sti opposition from some national regulators. India e ectively banned the service earlier this year despite intense lobbying from Facebook. The move was expected to spur critics of the service to seek similar bans in other countries, but across Africa the service has been largely welcome.

In Tanzania, where internet penetration stands at only 5%, the country’s regulator said the possibility of increased “adoption of data services” by Tanzanians was more bene cial to the market.

Facebook says it will work with developers in Nigeria who can build sites with local content which will improve the platform’s relevance to the local audience. Already listed on Free Basics is Jobberman—Nigeria’s biggest jobs portal. In a post, Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook was eager to o er “the opportunity to access news, health information and services like Jobberman that were built by Nigerians” without having to pay.

Facebook says it has been welcomed in Nigeria. At a developers’ forum in Lagos May 10, Ime Archibong, director of global product partnerships at Facebook, said the service has been “embraced” in Nigeria as there is an “appetite” for solutions to tackle Nigeria’s “connectivity challenges”. These connectivity challenges are present across Africa. Of the 21 African countries where Free Basics has launched, only Seychelles has an internet penetration rate above 50%.

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