Waukon native Cassandra Berger is loving life as “KT Girl”

Kwik Trip trips ... Waukon native Cassandra Berger sits on the floor of the Waukon Kwik Star location during a recent photo session with photos in front of her from her trips to every Kwik Trip location in the state of Wisconsin during this past year. Taking on the persona of “KT Girl,” Berger visited all 457 Kwik Trip locations in Wisconsin, documenting her visits on social media. Photo courtesy of Tatum Miller Photography.

by Lissa Blake

There are fans. And then there are serious fanatics. To say Waukon native Cassandra Berger is a big fan of Kwik Trip and Kwik Star would be a serious understatement. That’s because over the past couple years, Berger’s enthusiasm for her favorite gas station has resulted in a huge following on youtube.com. Berger recently brought her role as a social influencer for Kwik Trip, Inc. to her hometown Kwik Star, resulting in a full-on photoshoot at the local store.

After graduating from Waukon High School in 2012, Berger, the daughter of Rusty and Cynthia of Waukon, attended the University of Dubuque. While attending UD, she played lacrosse while majoring in accounting/human resource management and business administration. “My plan was always to be an accountant,” she said. But after working as an auditor in the Des Moines area for a year, she decided that line of work really wasn’t for her. “I went back to Dubuque and got my Masters,” she said. It was during these college years, Berger said her love affair with the convenience store began. “It really became an obsession,” she said. Berger, who also was interested in videography, started making some videos. “I started doing some silly videos talking about Kwik Trip, and sharing them. Kwik Trip started noticing,” she said.

In 2018, Berger landed the head coaching position for the women’s lacrosse team at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in La Crosse, WI, where there are more than a dozen Kwik Trip store locations. In early 2020, Berger reached out to Kwik Trip corporate with an idea for a commercial. “As it turned out, they were already shooting some commercials and they asked if I would want to be involved in one,” she said. “I told them, ‘Yes, that’s my dream.’” Berger said once she was actually involved with the company, new ideas just kept coming to her. “I was thinking, I can’t stop here. What can I do next? What can I present to them?” she said.

Berger pitched the company the idea of a KT Girl persona, who would travel the state of Wisconsin, stopping at every Kwik Trip and documenting her experiences. “I really didn’t know what their response would be. I was just hoping they would think it was a cool idea,” she said. Luckily for her, they bought it. “They said they loved my work and they wanted to enlist my help as a paid influencer,” she said. Berger could not have been more excited, as she and the company worked out a deal where she would travel to each Wisconsin store,  and chronicle her adventures.

Berger said she just loves what Kwik Trip offers, even though a gluten allergy has caused her to modify her diet in recent years. “If I could eat gluten again, I would say my favorites are the fried chicken and cream-filled long johns. As far as frozen pizzas go, their Pothole Pizzas are top notch,” she said. “But now that I’m gluten intolerant, I get most of my groceries out of their fresh case… and I love their coffee, too.”

At the start of last year, there were 457 Kwik Stars in Wisconsin, and Berger spent most of her weekends exploring them, when she wasn’t coaching. “I did all the video work. Sometimes I would ask my friends to go. My mom ended up coming in the summer. Kudos to my mom for being a champ,” she said. As for what’s next, Berger said she always hopes she will be able to find time to stay involved with Kwik Trip. Her series, “KT Bound with Cassandra: A story of love, adventure and a regional gas station,” can be seen on youtube.com.