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From side hustles to main moneymaker

Some people in our area have turned what used to be side gigs for extra cash into their main source of income during COVID-19.

With the coronavirus crisis shutting down so many businesses, some people have turned side activities, like hobbies, into money-making operations.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey spotlighted two examples in our area.

One includes a married couple from the Poconos.

The story of Dean's Cuisine: 

The coronavirus pandemic has made Dean Giannakis and Andrea Klemka of Blakeslee new business partners.

Before COVID-19, Dean was a personal trainer focusing on physical training, nutrition, and recovery.

Just before the pandemic hit, Dean started a meal prep business on the side. Two weeks later, he had to close his physical training clinics because of the virus.

"My primary source of income went down immediately. All I had left was the meal prep company. So my wife and I ran very aggressively with it. She took a leave from work, and now we're both just running the meal prep company full time," Dean Giannakis said.

Andrea took a leave of absence from her job as a health care worker because she was concerned preexisting conditions might put her at high risk for the virus. Now, Andrea runs the day to day operations of the couple's meal prep company called Dean's Cuisine, and she's loving it!

"I do. I'll admit I do like this. I could do this for a long time," Andrea Klemka said.

Dean says he and his Chef Shavar work to create healthy meal plans for their customers, and can even help with weight loss. Plus, many are loving the convenience of it all.

"People are getting tired of cooking at home. They're tired of cleaning. So they just get the meals from us. They eat them. They're gourmet prepared by our chef, delivered right to them. And when they're done, they just throw the container out; it's too easy," Giannakis said.

Andrea explains why "Dean's Cuisine" is not your ordinary meal prep company:

The couple has partnered with Stryker Farm in Saylorsburg.

The story of Talia's Treasures:

Others in our area are also turning "what used to be a hobby" into a moneymaker, including Wilkes University nursing student Talia Brogna of Mountain Top.

Talia gets customers through her Facebook page and says her newfound hustle is really paying off.

Talia also told Newswatch 16 the extra income not only helps with school bills but other things as well. Talia used coach cheerleading on the side to make extra cash, but that job was put on hold once the coronavirus pandemic shut down any sort of group gatherings.