In 2019, SBCC alum George Passantino followed his entrepreneurial dream and co-founded Quokka Brew, the market’s first caffeinated “Jitterless Coffee” made from a patent-pending blend that includes fair-trade, cold-brew coffee, amino acids, and oat milk. He credits SBCC, where he earned a degree in economics, for giving him the opportunity to explore his interests and discover his passion. After graduating, he transferred to UC Berkeley and earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental economics.

“I have a lot of fond memories of SBCC, whether it was watching the sunset over the ocean from the beautiful campus or learning from the outstanding faculty,” George said. “I took so many great classes! One that stands out was ‘History of Rock & Roll,’ which opened my eyes to more than I expected. I learned about the emotional aspects of music, and the impact it can have on individuals and society.” He also took classes in zoology, philosophy, astronomy, film studies, and more.

As CEO of Quokka Brew, George is excited about the future of the company. He and his partners developed the idea when they were juniors at UC Berkeley, and recently announced their biggest production run to date. The brew is vegan, organic, nut-free, and has only 60 calories and five grams of sugar per serving.

“The journey so far has taught us all a lot of valuable lessons about perseverance, sacrifice, and believing,” George said. “And it really excites me to say that this is still only getting started.” He’s thankful for everyone on the Quokka Brew team, the success the company has had so far, and for the educational journey that led him where he is today.

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